Source: Graphic Online

An Accra Fast Track High Court on Wednesday sentenced Nana Akwesi Agyemang, the Head Pastor of Shiva Linga Church, Ghana, to 15 years imprisonment for defiling eight girls.

The girls were between the ages of three and 12.

This was after the court presided over by Mr Justice Charles Quist had found Agyemang guilty on all the eight counts of defilement. He was given15 years imprisonment on all the counts. The sentences will, however, run concurrently.

Meanwhile, three parents of the victims, who were in court, registered their displeasure amidst tears over the number of years handed down on Agyemang. They said the years were not enough compared to the number of the victims he defiled. A former driver of Agyemang, whose three year old child was a victim, wept as he shared his views on the judgement.

According to him, the court should have handed down a stiffer punishment as Agyemang through his evil deeds had impregnated one of the victims, and had jumped bail for four years. According to him, the convict had destroyed the lives of the victims so the 15 years could not compensate the victims.

Meanwhile Mr Victor Adawudu, Agyemang’s lawyer, who was not in court said he would appeal against his client’s conviction when he was told about it. According to him, he had filed a motion in July to arrest the judgement of the Court but the court ignored it and went ahead to give judgement.

He said the state did not oppose the motion. Mrs Evelyn Keelson, Principal State Attorney, represented the state. The defiled children came into contact with Agyemang because of his work at the Ghana Branch of the Shiva Linga Church. On an arrangement with parents of the respective children; they came to live with the accused at his residence at St. John’s, near Dome, a suburb of Accra.

The convict reportedly took advantage of the absence of their parents and defiled the girls any time he desired. Agyemang was accused of threatening the girls with death should they report him to their parents, though according to him, they would not be taken seriously even if they did.

However, Agyemang was exposed when a girl who was brought from Abidjan decided to confide in the parents of two other victims about the sexual escapades of the accused on her return home. When the parents confirmed the story via telephone from respective daughters, they rushed to Accra and caused the arrest of Agyemang.

In 2007, the accused was charged and put before court, but after four witnesses had been called, the accused, who was then on bail, went into hiding for four years till he was rearrested at Techiman with the help of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Agyemang’s arrest occurred when he sneaked into Ghana from his Abidjan base as he often did, to spend time with his family.

Following months of surveillance Anas, who eventually got wind of his presence, reported to the Brong Ahafo Regional Police where Agyemang was picked transferred to Accra to stand trial.

Published On: July 23rd, 2014 / Categories: News /

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Anas Aremeyaw Anas is a Ghanaian investigative journalist born in the late 1970s. He specializes in print media and documentary and is politically non-aligned focusing on issues of human rights and anti-corruption in sub-Saharan Africa. Anas' motto is "name, shame and jail", and he is famous for utilizing his anonymity as a tool in his investigative arsenal. Very few people had seen his face (until an "unmasking" during a BBC interview in November 2015 —which revealed yet another prosthetic).

Anas has won more than 50 international and local awards for his work advocating basic human rights, such as the right to not be held in human slavery and for his work exposing corruption. His investigative works have won him worldwide acclaim, including President Barack Obama highlighting him in a speech during a 2009 visit to Ghana: "An independent press”, a vibrant private sector, a civil society….those are the things that give life to democracy. We see that spirit in courageous journalists like Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who risked his life to report the truth.”

Anas hail from Bimbilla in Northern Ghana and grew up in Burma Camp, a military barracks in Accra. He attended the Christian Methodist Secondary School and Ghana Institute of Journalism where he got his first diploma before studying his first degree at the University of Ghana. He later attended the Faculty of Law and the Ghana Law School.

After university he turned down an opportunity to work as a reporter for the Ghanaian Times newspaper, instead choosing to join The Crusading Guide newspaper in 1998. The editor of the newspaper, Kweku Baako Jnr, had just been released from jail in the same year. Anas later became co-publisher of The New Crusading Guide, and subsequently opened his own production and investigation company, Tiger Eye PI Media, in 2008.

Anas has collaborated widely with Al-Jazeera and the BBC, among other international clients. In 2017 he started The Tiger Eye Foundation as a media non- profit and 501c3, in the USA and Ghana, that uses a dynamic set of initiatives to promote and elevate the standards in journalism. The foundation educates and supports journalists through hands-on investigative journalism workshops, multimedia boot camps, investigative productions, broadcasts and community outreach programs. Anas was called to the Bar in 2013, and since then has mostly defended himself in court.

In December 2015 Foreign Policy magazine named Anas one of 2015's leading global thinkers, an honour previously granted to the likes of Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, and Malala Yousafzai. He is consistently invited to talk on his work at gatherings all around the world and in March 2016, Anas was invited by Harvard Law School as a keynote speaker to share his experiences creating change on the continent of Africa. In 2016 Anas had an award named after him by the Press Foundation in Ghana. The founder of the press foundation Mr Listowel Yesu Bukarson said: "This award was named after the world-renowned investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas to aid journalists to climb to the highest apogee in their chosen profession". 'Chameleon’ by Ryan Mullins, a documentary about Anas's life and work, was premiered at the 2014 IDFA festival in Amsterdam.

In the period from October to December 2016, Anas made his first foray into public life, outside of the world of investigative journalism, as a powerful advocate for peace in his "Anas4Peace" multimedia campaign, using Ghanaian celebrities to advocate for peace during the Ghana election period.

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