An Adentan Circuit Court has sentenced an evangelist and a prophetess to a total jail term of 11 years for stealing GHC265,000 from a retired lecturer’s account.
Samuel Kwesi Tsogbe, the 33-year-old evangelist was sentenced to six years imprisonment and Esther Christ, a 63-year-old prophetess was put away for five years.
Charged with stealing, Tsogbe and Esther, self-ordained pastors of Cornerstone Ministry International, pleaded guilty.
The accused persons were said to have travelled from Kpando to Accra to offer prayers to the bedridden lecturer.
During their stay at the lecturer’s house, the duo siphoned the money from his account.
After stealing the money, Tsogbe and Esther opened an account at another bank and channelled the stolen funds into the said account.
They also sent away the 72-year-old lecturer’s housekeeper, whom they claimed was the cause of the victim’s predicament.
Police investigations showed that the accused persons had bought a tipper truck, and a Hyundai Might 2 vehicle and rented a shop in the Oti Region.
Tsogbe told the court to forgive him as he did not know his action would turn out this way.
“I apologize for this; I have learnt my lesson.”
Esther also informed the court that she was a foreigner and that she came to Ghana through another prophet.
“I am sorry for my actions,” Esther told the court.
The court presided over by Mrs Sedinam Awo Balokah convicted the accused persons on their own pleas.
The trial described the accused persons conduct as “unpalatable.”
The court was not enthused with the way people were using spirituality to exploit the vulnerable, hence handing down a deterrent sentence.
It ordered the seizure of items purchased and owned by the accused persons.
The court also froze the account of Tsogbe and restrained him or other persons from withdrawing money from the said account.
The prosecution led by Chief Inspector Maxwell Lanyo said the complainant, Margaret Dzandu is a teacher, residing at Kpando whiles the victim is a retiree residing at Danfa.
Chief Inspector Lanyo said the complainant is the victim’s niece.
The prosecution said the accused persons are self-ordained pastors of Cornerstone Ministry International, Kpando.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons also reside at Kpando.
It said 2022, the accused persons convinced the complainant that they had a revelation about her uncle’s predicament and persuaded her to send them to pray for the victim.
The prosecution said the accused persons occupied the home of the victim and thereafter sacked his housekeeper.
They then engaged a new house help from Kpando.
Tsogbe and Esther then stay with the victim for five months.
On May 4, 2022, Tsogbe and Esther took the victim to NIB bank to withdraw GHC200,000 from his account. T
hey also managed to steal the victim’s National Investment Bank (NIB) ATM card and Cheque Book.
On September 22, 2022, the prosecution said they started transferring monies from the victim’s NIB account to Tsogbe’s account till June 2, 2023.
The prosecution said during June 2023, the complainant visited the victim who needed money.
The victim’s ATM Card and Chequebook were nowhere to be found in the house during a search.
It said the complainant’s preliminary investigations showed that the accused persons had stolen her uncle’s ATM Card and the chequebook.
The prosecution said the complainant reported the matter to the Police at Kpando and an extract was given to her to send to the Police at Ayi Mensah.
When the accused were arrested by the police, they admitted stealing the victims’ ATM and Cheque book and the same were retrieved from them.
Credit to GNA