An Accra Circuit Court on Monday remanded the Founder of the Heaven Way Champion International Ministry at Weija in Accra, Patricia Asiedua, aka Nana Agradaa, for three days over an alleged money-doubling scam.
She was charged with one count of charlatanic advertisement and six counts of defrauding by false pretence when she appeared before the court, presided over by Samuel Bright Acquah.
The accused has, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Maxwell Oppong, said the accused, in her quest to deceive members of the public that she could double any amount given to her, advertised the money-doubling scam on Today Television and some social media platforms.
Six complainants, according to the prosecution, gave amounts ranging from GH¢230 to GH¢760 to Nana Agradaa under the pretext of having the money doubled.
ASP Oppong said the police were authenticating over 50 complainants against the accused.
Counsel for Nana Agradaa, Randolph Twumasi, in his bail application, argued that in spite of the public uproar, his client was innocent until proven guilty.
He further told the court that his client had a fixed place of abode and people of good substance to stand as sureties for her when granted bail.
Counsel added that the suspect was not arrested but drove herself to the police regional office.
“The prosecution could not even establish if the complainants are, indeed, church members,” he said.
ASP Oppong rebutted claims that the accused voluntarily turned herself to the police.
He said contrary to the account given by counsel, the police blocked all access to her hideout after intelligence disclosed that the accused intended to travel.
The accused, he said, had no option but to report herself to the police.
The prosecutor further told the court that Nana Agradaa had no fixed place of abode and would not be available to stand trial when granted bail.
For her own safety and public interest, he prayed the court to remand the suspect to keep her away from angry church members.
The judge remanded the accused and ordered her to reappear on October 13, 2022.
The facts, as presented by ASP Oppong, were that on October 5, 2022, the accused advertised and invited on Today’s TV and some social media platforms that she was able to double any amount of money an individual gave her.
In the advert, the prosecutor said, the accused invited members of the public to attend all-night service at her church to have their money doubled.
“The complainants and over 1,000 others attended the said all-night service, and upon the request of the accused person, handed over huge sums of money to the accused but failed to double the money, as alleged,” the prosecutor told the court.
ASP Oppong told the court that the police commenced investigations into the matter and arrested the accused person on October 9, 2022.
He further told the court that the accused, during interrogations, admitted the story of the complainants.
“Police investigations have established that on 5th October, 2022, the accused, by a self-made video, advertised on Today TV and some social media platforms that she (accused) was able to double any amount of money an individual gave her (accused).
“Further investigations established that the accused person, per the said charlatanic advert, invited the public to attend an all-night church service at Heaven Way Champion International Ministry, Weija, a suburb of Accra, for their money to be doubled,” he said.
He said pursuant to the said adverts by the accused on social media, the complainants came from far and near to attend an all-night service at Heaven Way Champion International Ministry, Weija to get their money doubled by the accused.
“Then accused successfully demanded and received huge sums of money from some members of the public who attended the said all-night service at Heaven Way Champion International Ministry, Weija, including complainants in this matter, as indicated on the face of the charge sheet,” he said.
Further investigations, according to the prosecutor, revealed that the accused undertook the charlatanic advertisement and subsequent money collection with other persons for the purported money doubling.
He said efforts were underway to identify and arrest such persons to assist in investigations.