Trial of Obinim and two others beginsBy GNA
4/12/2012 9:31:51 PM -
Accra, April 12, GNA - Trial of Bishop Daniel Obinim, Founder of International God's Way Church, and two pastors, who allegedly vandalised an Accra based radio station, destroying property worth GH¢130,850 began at an Accra Circuit Court on Thursday.
The pastors are Kingsley Baah and Kofi Akwettey.
Mounting the witness box, Mr Paul Kwame Ntim aka Katakyie a broadcast journalist of Hot Fm narrated how Obinim subjected him to severe beatings with a crowbar at the radio station's studio in Accra.
Mr Ntim aka Wofa Ntim said when Obinim and the other accused persons arrived at the studios on August 8, 2011, he (Obinim) attempted to hit him on the head with the crowbar.
He said to prevent head injuries, he (witness) used his hands to prevent the crowbar from hitting him and as a result received injuries on his hands.
Led in evidence by Ms Rebecca Adjalo, Senior State Attorney, Mr Ntim said Obinim further used the pinch bar to hit him several times on his ribs, with the support of the other accused persons.
Mr Ntim said Obinim asked him why he (witness) failed to contact him (Obinim) to narrate his version of the issue being discussed on air.
Witness said Obim further shouted in anger: 'If you don't kill me today, I will rather kill you.'
Mr Ntim said he replied: 'What have I done?'
Witness said one Mallam Alhassan (a Spiritualist), who was at the studio for an interview, held the pinch bar from Obinim, and he (witness) managed to escape through the broken glass doors.
He said all this while, Obinim chased him with the pinch bar outside the studio and on reaching the entrance of the premises' gate, realised that it was locked.
'I had no option than to jump over the wall and landed on the street bleeding. Anytime I attempt to run away from Obinim I fell, but managed to run to the Adabraka Police Station,' Mr Ntim said.
Witness said on reaching the Police Station, he met two of his producers, Mr Shardrack Yaw Gyebi and Adu Kumi who were there to lodge a complaint.
He said when he got to the Police station, the Police told him (witness) that Obinim and the other accused persons had lodged a complaint that they had been assaulted at Hot Fm therefore, the Police should arrest him (Mr Ntim) and put behind bars.
'My Lord because I was weak and sustained injuries, the Police advised that I should be sent to the hospital for treatment instead of being put behind bars,' witness said.
When asked how many people were there when Obinim, Baah and Akwettey arrived at the studio, witness said they were seven in all.
He said they vandalised two glass doors before entering the main studio.
Witness told the court that he had worked with Hot Fm for that past three years and had hosted the programme dubbed 'Nya Asem Hwe' for two years and two months and was aired from 1600 hours to 2200 hours every day.
He told the court that he got to know Obinim on Metro Television where he (Obinim) preached on Saturdays.
Bishop Obinim and the other accused persons are jointly charged with unlawful entry, conspiracy to cause unlawful damage, causing unlawful damage, conspiracy to commit assault and assault.
Bishop Obinim is facing an additional charge of causing harm.
They pleaded not guilty to all the charges and the court, presided over by Ms Audrey Kocovie-Tay, admitted them to GH¢200,000 bail with three sureties each.
The facts of the case are that on August 8, 2011, there was a programme on Hot FM, Nya Asem Hwe, which was being hosted by Paul Kwame Ntim Katakyie, the complainant.
The prosecution said in the course of the programme, one of the topics being discussed was Bishop Obinim's sexual scandal and the playing of a tape recording relating to the scandal, while issues relating to Obinim's wife and the two accused persons were also discussed.
On hearing the programme, the accused persons stormed the radio station with a crowbar and started vandalising the sliding doors to the studio and other studio equipment.
The damaged property included a voice processor valued at GH¢7,500, a Telos Hybria (1X6) valued at GH¢18,000, a head phone distributor valued at GH¢6,000, two CD players valued at GH¢4,500, three telephone sets valued at GH¢2,250, a Dell desktop PC valued at GH¢450 and a Toshiba laptop valued at GH¢750.
The rest were a Samsung laptop valued at GH¢1,600, a telephone valued at GH¢800, a console valued at GH¢18,000, an electric voice microphone valued at GH¢3,750, a microphone stand valued at GH¢2,250, louver doors valued at GH¢20,000, and one KFM transmitter valued at GH¢45,000.
The prosecution said the accused persons also attacked the host and other panel members and inflicted injuries on them, but a witness, Shadrack Adu, managed to escape to the Adabraka Police Station to seek assistance.
Hearing continues on Monday, April 16.