Three members of Prophet T.B. Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations, who were accused of stealing $150,000 from the church, have been sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court.
According to a Ghanaian newspaper, The Chronicle, the Church members are Ebenezer Nyarku, 21, a technician, Richard Mensah, 28, driver and Adam Opare, 27, a videographer.
They were charged with conspiracy, but the first and second accused persons Ebenezer Nyarku and Richard Mensah were additionally charged with unlawful entry and stealing.
The third accused person, Adam Opare, also had an additional charge of abetment of crime. All the accused persons pleaded guilty with explanations on the various charges, except stealing.
Narrating the facts of the case, the prosecuting officer, ASP Reynolds Agyemang, indicated that on April 22, 2010, the accused persons held a series of meetings at the church premises, where they planned to steal collections meant for a building project, which was kept in the mission house at Nungua.
According to him, the second accused, Richard Mensah, opted to steal the mission house key to enable them execute the plan.
He said on April 22, 2010, the first accused person, Ebenezer Nyarku, visited the second accused at the church premises, while the complainant and some members of the church were also at the church premises holding a meeting at the chapel.
"Whilst the complainant was at the meeting, the second accused person managed to enter the office, whilst the first accused was keeping watch on the complainant.The second accused person succeeded in stealing the missionís house key, and passed it on to the first accused person," he added.
The prosecutor mentioned that the two accused persons proceeded to the mission house at Nungua, and opened the main door with the key. He said they entered the hall, but found the bedroom door under lock.
They managed to break the lock, and found the money wrapped in a polythene bag, and stole it.
He pointed out that they carried the money to the third accused person, Adam Opare, in his house at Afienya, where he hid it for three weeks.
According to him, after that period, they transferred the money to the first accused personís house at Kasoa, where they finally shared it equally.
The ASP Agyemang noted that each of the accused persons bought a car for himself, and used the rest of the money to buy miscellaneous items, including home appliances.
ìA report was made to the police, and on June 17, 2010, all of the accused persons were arrested,î he added.
He said during investigations they confessed their involvement in the crime.
The police took them to their various homes and retrieved a KIA Pride, KIA Spectra, Nissan Sentra, laptop computers, refrigerators and video camera which they had purchased with the stolen money.