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.