A self-styled man of God, Nana Amponsa Poku, 50, who has allegedly collected various sums of money from three persons under the pretext of buying them vehicles, was hauled before a Takoradi Circuit Court on Monday.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge of defrauding by false pretence, but the court, presided over by Charles Nimako, found him guilty after the trial and slapped Poku with a fine of one hundred penalty units or in default, go to jail for five years.
Prosecuting, Inspector Seth Ahelegbe told the court that the complainants in the case were Anna Juana, unemployed and resident of Tadisco Down, near Takoradi; Kate Onumah, a nurse, residing at Kweikuma, near Sekondi and Gordon Anati, a Timber Merchant, resident of Asakai near Takoradi.
He indicated that the accused, Nana Amponsah Poku, was an alleged missionary residing at Ketan Estate, near Sekondi.
Inspector Ahelegbe mentioned that during the year 2006 and 2007, the accused collected $3,000, $6,000 and $12,600 from the three complainants respectively, under the pretext of buying them Hyundai Grace, Hyundai Stales and Kia Trade vehicles from South Korea.
The prosecutor added that the alleged pastor collected the various sums of money from the complainants but failed to buy the cars for them as promised and ran away from Takoradi.
According to Insp. Ahelegbe, all efforts made by the complainants to trace the alleged man of God failed.
The accused recently re-surfaced in Takoradi and the complainants got wind of it and managed to arrest him, handing him over to the police.
During investigations, the accused admitted having collected the various amounts of money from the complainants under the pretext of buying them cars.
He was therefore charged with the offence and arraigned before court.
In a related development, a 29-year-old mason, Andrews Fianya who allegedly threatened to kill a colleague mason at Apremdo, near Takoradi has been granted bail in the sum of GHÂ˘10,000 with two sureties.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge of threat of death and the court presided over by Charles Nimako granted him bail to reappear on July 27, 2012.
Giving the facts of the case to the court, Insp. Ahelegbe noted that the complainant, Stephen Ansah and the accused lived in the same neighbourhood at Apremdo, near Takoradi.
He indicated that for some time now, there had been a strained relationship between the complainant and some family members of the accused due to a misunderstanding over a parcel of land.
According to the prosecutor, the accused and his family members allegedly decided to take the land of the complainant by every means.
He noted that on February 26, 2012 at about 12pm, the complainant left his house to visit a friend at Apollo, near Apremdo.
Few minutes after Ansah had left the house the accused rushed to the house of the complainant and started banging on Ansahâ€™s door, challenging the complainant to come out if he were a man.
When the complainantâ€™s wife, who was in the kitchen, came to inform the accused that the complainant was not available, the accused person in a fit of anger threatened her saying, â€śIf I had laid hands on your husband, I would have killed him and killed myselfâ€ť.
The accused person then left Ansahâ€™s house and went to meet the complainant at a drinking bar at Apremdo but could not carry out his alleged threat due to the presence of some police personnel around.
The complainant made a report to the police and the accused was arrested. Fianya, however, denied the offence in his caution statement and after police investigations, he was charged with the offence.
Â From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi