The Ho Circuit Court has sentenced Prince Boateng, who claimed to be an envoy of Prophet T. B. Joshua, to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour for defrauding three persons of GH¢13,500 in April last year.
He posed as a servant of the Lord sent on a mission by Prophet T.B. Joshua of Nigeria to find his true bride in the Krachi West District and succeeded in wooing a health worker there, before defrauding her and two of her family members of a total amount of GH¢13,500.
One of Boateng’s victims is a retired Reverend of the Assemblies of God Church, while another is a retired worker.
He was convicted on three counts of fraud by the court presided over by Mrs Priscilla Dikro Ofori.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Inspector Stephen Atidzon, prosecuting told the court that in April last year, the accused called the woman (name withheld) and introduced himself by a pseudonymous name, ‘William’, claiming to be a business associate of the convict.
According to the prosecution, the caller informed the woman that Boateng would like to meet her.
The woman then met the convict, who insisted that he was an envoy of Prophet T.B. Joshua, sent on a mission to marry her.
Later, the woman received another call from a man who identified himself as ‘Collins Boateng’, the father of the convict, promising to bear the full cost of the wedding if she agreed to his son’s proposal to marry him.
That convinced the woman, who heartily agreed to the marriage proposal, and subsequently introduced the accused to her two relatives as her fiancé.
The court heard that the initial date for the wedding was set on May 25, 2018 and later postponed to June 15, 2018 and again to June 26, 2018.
The prosecution said that a few days to the first date chosen for the wedding, the woman received a call again from the supposed father of the accused, saying that contrary to his earlier promise to fund the wedding, Prophet T.B. Joshua had directed that neither he nor his son should use any money to sponsor the wedding, otherwise she would become barren forever.
The caller further asked the bride-to-be to use her own money to cover the cost of the wedding and ‘some pacification rites’, assuring her that he would later refund the money to her with interest.
From then to the time the marriage dates were set, the prosecution said that Boateng collected a cash amount of GH¢5,500 from the woman, GH¢6,000 from the retired worker and GH¢ 2,000 from the reverend minister.
Later, when another date for the wedding turned out to be a fiasco, the woman became suspicious, and reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of the accused.
During investigations, the police took custody of a TECNO K7, TECNO CA6, TECNO C7 and LG X Power cellular phone from Boateng, who had no fixed place of abode.
It emerged that the calls from the phones whose callers introduced themselves to the woman as William and Collins Boateng, were all made by him (convict).
The court ordered that the four cellular phones which were retrieved from him should be given to the pensioner to sell and the proceeds used to offset part of the money he borrowed.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO