Bishop Daniel Obinim, the Head Pastor of the International God's Way Church has been slapped with fresh criminal charges in the ongoing forgery trial at the Kaneshie District Court.
He has been charged with four counts of conspiracy to publish false news, conspiracy to forge other documents, publication of false news and forgery of other documents.
He has since pleaded not guilty to the charges, reports Graphic Online's Justice Agbenorsi.
The new charges were slapped on Bishop Obinim when the case came up for hearing on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at the Kaneshie District Court.
Charged alongside Bishop Obinim as an accomplice is Kwabena Otchere, who is the second accused person and four other persons who are at large.
The prosecution withdrew the old charges with the explanation that it had consolidated Obinim’s charge sheet with the charge sheet of the other accused persons.
Bishop Obinim was initially standing trial on charges of publication of false news and forgery.
Obinim was picked up by the police on an arrest warrant issued by the court on May 19, 2020.
Obinim was sent to the court and was granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000, with three sureties, one to be justified.
According to the police, Obinim is also under investigation for other offences leveled against him.
Brush with the law
This is not the first time that Obinim has had a brush with the law.
In 2018, he, together with two of his pastors, stood trial at the Accra Circuit Court for allegedly assaulting his adopted children — a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy — in the presence of his congregation.
They were, in September of that same year, subsequently fined a total of GH¢12,000 for the assault on the two teenagers at a church service held in August 2016.
Brief facts in the new case
The facts under the fresh charges were not presented in court on Wednesday but under the old charges, Graphic Online gathered that it was explained that Obinim is in court for publishing in November 2019 that one Isaac Opoku was a wanted person by the police, a statement the prosecution say he well knew was false.
In addition, he is said to have forged a police Wanted Persons form alongside other documents, contrary to section 159 (c) of Act 29/60.
Isaac Opoku, a resident of Kumasi complained to the police that on November 14, 2019, Obinim deposited GH¢51,280 into his bank account at Fidelity Bank and subsequently transferred GH¢49,160 out of the account to his Kaiser Bank account in Spain.
The money was however returned into Opoku’s account in Ghana and Opoku withdrew the money for his personal use based on a promise Obinim is said to have made to him in front of his congregation to buy him a car.
Obinim according to the facts the prosecution has presented in court demanded that the money should be refunded but Opoku refused.
Obinim reportedly sent an audio via WhatsApp to threaten Opoku that he would make the police to declare him a wanted person on social media if he refused to return the money.
Subsequently, according to the prosecution, Opoku saw a publication on social media, on the Facebook accounts of Apre Zeremiah, Chris Diggs, Kobby Fireman, Benjamin Owusu and Miriam Gilberts who are all followers of Obinim, according to Opoku.
Also under the publication was a phone number of someone the publication said was the police officer handling the case but the prosecution said that number indeed belonged to a police officer but that officer has since denied causing the publication that said Opoku was a wanted person.
According to the prosecution, even though Obinim has denied causing the said publication, he has however admitted knowing the said persons whose Facebook accounts published it and explained they were his church members.
Based on that the police arrested him and arraigned him in court.