The Chairman of the Ghana Apostolic Conference and Council (GACC), Apostle Dr Z.O. Hunter, has called on prominent men of God such as Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, Pastor Mensa Otabil and the National Chief Imam Sheikh Nuhu Sharubutu, to speak against the jailing of a pastor and his church members who got jailed for breaching COVID-19 protocols during a church service.
The host of ‘Answer For Today’ on Class Media Group’s Number One105.3FM and leader of Star International Church (SIC), told Nana Ansah Sasraku on Accra100.5FM’s News@12 that he could not believe the pastor has been jailed for the same offence committed by Tema West MP Carlos Ahenkorah, who has been left off the hook.
Mr Ahenkorah resigned as Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries after interacting with some party supporters at a voter registration centre despite knowing he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been asked by the health authorities to self-isolate.
“They’ve been able to arrest a religious leader who was going about his religious duty and put him in prison but the former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, who did not observe protocols despite having COVID-19 is walking about freely”, Apostle Hunter noted.
“So, the laws are different for pastors and different for politicians”, he observed.
“I’m calling on Archbishop Duncan-Williams, I’m calling on Mensa Otabil and I’m calling on the National Chief Imam to speak out for the man of God who has been arrested and imprisoned for preaching Jesus Christ”, he said.
Apostle Hunter’s call comes after former President John Dramani Mahama called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to grant clemency to the jailed pastor.
Mr Mahama said the four-year prison sentence handed down to Apostle Sampson Agakpe and two others is 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 flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), 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 Sampson Agakpe, founder of the Church of Pure Christ in the Volta Region, was arrested, charged and jailed for four years together with his Assistant Pastor, Maxwell Dzogoedzikpe and the church secretary, Samuel Agakpe.