Atogpeelige Akongyaane, the head pastor of the Jesus Spanner Miracle Church in the Bongo District, and three other church members were each given a seven-day jail sentence by the Bolgatanga District Court.
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Along with the pastor, the three defendants—Zacchaeus Ayamga, Robert Aberinga Akugre, and Daniel Ayeliga Ageekilingo—were each fined GH 2,400.
Due to their status as nursing mothers, two further members, Veronica Ayamga and Mary Akonyane, who was the baby’s mother, avoided prison time and were instead each fined GH 2,400.
They were convicted by the court presided over by Mawukoenya Nutekpor on Monday after being found guilty of two charges of physical abuse and aiding and abetting crime, namely physical abuse of a child under two months in violation of the criminal offences Act of 1960 (Act 29) and the Domestic Violence Act of 2007 (Act 732).
The regional police command made the complaint, and the accused were residents of Balungu and Zorko in the Bongo District, according to the prosecution’s account of the case, which was led by Inspector Baliki Amidu Issaka.
He mentioned that a video that went popular on social media with the accused people assembled in a church and Veronica holding a baby and violently throwing him around had been intercepted by the regional police command.
He claimed that the accused were discovered and detained for questioning as a result of a directive from the local police leadership.
They were subsequently detained on July 7, 2023, and during questioning they confirmed the crimes in their caution statements but said they were powerless to oppose the “holy spirit” that possessed Veronica.
The victim’s naming ceremony was being held in the aforementioned church by Veronica and Atogpeelige around noon on February 5, 2023, according to the prosecutor. Veronica was possessed during the singing and worship, and she took control of the victim from Akogyaane under the guise that the Holy Spirit had entered her and that she was guarding the child from any evil attack that might try to seize him.
During this time, he saw, the other accused parties were busy applauding and singing to Veronica as she began dangerously throwing and swinging the infant up and down.
About a week ago, the incident’s social media video became viral, leading to their detention and subsequent charge.