Founder of the Heaven Way Champion International Ministry at Weija, Evangelist Patricia Asieduaa, popularly known as Nana Agradaa, accused of a money doubling scheme, was on Monday remanded in police custody by an Accra Circuit Court when she was arraigned.
She was charged with one count of charlatanic advertisement in newspapers and six counts of defrauding by false pretence.
She denied all the charges.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP) Maxwell Oppong, prosecuting said the police were reviewing and authenticating over 50 complainants that had come forward.
She was remanded in police custody by presiding judge, Samuel Bright Acquah, to reappear in three days.
Lawyer for the accused, Reindorf Twumasi Ankrah and George Asamani on separate occasions in their bail request contended that no matter the public outcry, their client was presumed innocent until prosecution was able to establish the charges.
“Will the accused person be available to stand trial? That is all that is required by Criminal jurisprudence.
” And we have sureties who are independent, of good character and of sufficient means ready to stand-in just as the law requires and she also has a fixed place of abode,” Lawyer Asamani argued.
His co-counsel Twumasi Ankrah added that she
had no direct contact with the complainants or demanded directly or indirectly the sums from the complainant’s.
He said it was yet to be established if complainant’s were indeed church members or were in the church on the day in question and added that she wasn’t arrested but drove and handed herself to the police regional office.
The prosecution led by Assistant Superintendent of Police(ASP) Maxwell Oppon in rebuttal submitted that the accused had no fixed place of abode and did not come to the police voluntarily.
“We had information that she intended to travel and therefore blocked all access to her hide-out and manned the airports.
” We also tracked her phone and left her with no choice but to report to the police station,” he disclosed to the court.
He added that it took more than a day for the accused to report to the police and therefore when granted bail she would never appear to stand trial.
He told the court that her detention would also ensure her own safety against angry church members who may attempt to harm her.
After evaluating both arguments, Mr Samuel Bright Acquah acceded to the prosecution’s request for remand citing her history of doubling money termed as ‘Sika Gari’ and that her modus operandi had not changed and one could not predict what she would bring next.
According to the facts of the case the complanaints in the matter were Yaa Bremah, a trader, Emmanuel Kumi from Zenu Ashaiman, George Boateng from Obuasi, Grace Forson, a hairdresser from Swedru, Mary Arthur, farmer from Takoradi and Patricia Ankamah, a trader from Sunyani.
They reported to the Police that on October 5,this year, accused advertised on Today’s Tv and other social media platforms that she was able to double
any amount of money an individual gave her.
Based on this, the prosecution said accused invited members of the public to attend all-night service at her church for the alleged money
“The complainants and over 1,000 other people attended the said all night service, and upon the request of accused person handed over huge
sums of money to the accused which she failed to double as alleged,” ASP Maxwell Oppong said.
He added that the police commenced investigation into the matter and arrested accused last Sunday and accused during interrogations admitted the story of the complainants as correct.
ASP Oppong said that accused successfully demanded and received huge sums of monies from some members of the public who attended the said all night service.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO