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Monday, September 28, 2020

COVID-19: Jailed Apostle ‘apparently’ freed – Mahama eats humble pie

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Former President John Mahama has expressed gratitude to the past General Overseer of the Lord’s Pentecostal Church, Apostle Richard Buafor, for spearheading the release of Apostle Sampson Agakpe and his two other church colleagues who were convicted for breaching COVID-19 protocols.

Apostle Buafor is said to have paid a fine of GHS26,400 on behalf of the offenders, leading to their release.

“Thank you very much Apostle Richard Buafor”, the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress said, adding: “I am informed that Apostle Sampson Agakpe and his two other church colleagues have, apparently, been freed following the payment of a fine of GHS26,400.00 by Apostle Buafor, who is the immediate-past General Overseer of the Lord’s Pentecostal Church,” Mr Mahama posted on his Facebook timeline.

Earlier, Mr Mahama had called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to grant clemency to Apostle Agakpe and his two followers in connection with the offence.

Mr Mahama said the four-year prison sentence handed down to the pastor, was draconian and an act of selective justice.

“We must all abide by the law, that is true, but we should not engage in selective justice, where you apply the law heavily on church workers who flout the law. Yet, during primaries, people were seen flouting the law with impunity and nothing happened to them”, he said.

The former President, who was speaking during an interaction with Christian leaders in the Northern regional capital Tamale, during his recent visit, observed that the imposition of the COVID-19 restrictions was necessary to help fight the surge in infections and keep the country safe.

Some of the decisions and outcomes arising out of the imposition of the restrictions, he noted, has not been pleasant.

“We are all equal before the law. It should not be possible for political parties to flout a law and get away with it, yet when a church flouts the law, the punishment is heavy and draconian. We have our Christian colleagues, a pastor and some church workers languishing in jail. They were sentenced to jail for four years. That is a very draconian punishment”, Mr Mahama said.

Apostle Agakpe, founder of the Church of Pure Christ in the Volta Region, was arrested and prosecuted along with his Assistant Pastor, Maxwell Dzogoedzikpe and the church secretary, Samuel Agakpe.

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