A 31-year-old man who allegedly stabbed to death Rev Dr David Nabegmado, Senior Pastor of the Central Assemblies of God Church at Tema Community Four, last Sunday was yesterday put before the Tema Magistrate Court.
The plea of the accused, Francis Nabegmado, was not taken, but he was remanded in prison custody pending further police investigations
Nabegmado is alleged to have stormed the offices of the pastor who also happened to be his paternal uncle on Sunday, December 30, 2018, slashed his hands and stabbed him in the right rib before slitting his throat.
He was arrested by the church members when he attempted to escape after the act.
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The Tema Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Edward Johnson Akrofi-Oyirifi, told the Daily Graphic in Tema last Monday that the police were preparing the docket on the suspect to get him remanded by the court while they sought advice from the Attorney-General's Department.
"This is a straightforward case where the suspect was arrested at the crime scene with the exhibit weapon and this gives us the opportunity to immediately get him remanded, while we process the necessary documentations for proper prosecution of the suspect,” DCOP Akrofi-Oyirifi stated.
He said the suspect, who until November 2018 lived with the slain pastor, dressed in a suit and carrying a handbag, went to the church office about 9 a.m. when the deceased was preparing to deliver the day’s sermon and attacked him with the machete without any provocation.
According to the regional commander, an elder of the church who was with the deceased at the time of the incident, rushed out, calling for assistance as the suspect inflicted deep wounds on the deceased.
“The pastor unfortunately passed on at the Tema General Hospital (TGH) where he was rushed to for treatment,” DCOP Akrofi-Oyirifi stated.
The unprovoked attack which had shocked many people, especially within the Christian community, had made some people think the suspect may be mentally deranged.
While the motive of the attack by the suspect was not readily known, the Regional Commander debunked the assertions, saying while such conditions could only be determined by psychiatric experts, “my close observation of the suspect showed he may not have any such condition, but we will leave it for the medical experts to examine should such an activity be sanctioned by a court”, the commander pointed out.
Rev. Dr Nabegmado, 63, who had pastored the branch for nearly 30 years having been posted to the branch in February 1991 from the Burma Camp Assembly of the church, has been described as a man of many parts whose death would create a vacuum not only in the church but for hundreds of souls he touched.
The General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church, Rev. Professor Paul Frimpong-Manso, visited the family of the deceased pastor last Monday.
In an address to the leadership of the church and the media, he expressed disgust at media reportage which sought to label the slain pastor as an occultist and an idol worshipper.
He wondered why people were determined to inflict further wounds on the family and the church with the publication and rebroadcast of a supposed statement message recorded by the suspect which sought to malign the deceased.
“When a man who came here to murder such an honourable man makes ‘unverified statements’ and that’s what the media is talking about, it smacks of an attack on the deceased and the church as a whole”, Prof. Frimpong-Manso regretted.
“Pastor David was born into the Assemblies of God Church and started Ministry at age 14 and was never a charlatan nor a fake prophet but was a man of character”, he added.
Describing the situation as immoral and wrong, Prof. Frimpong-Manso tasked the media to work with professionalism in order not to destroy the hard won reputation of people.
While urging the general public to be security conscious, he appealed to the police to endeavour to prosecute the case to the letter by identifying any conspirators in the crime to ensure they would be punished to serve as a deterrent to the public.
The church’s December 31 watchnight service which was to be superintended over by the slain pastor, however, came off as scheduled.
Worshippers, some clad in black and white, were at the church as early as 6 p.m. on Monday evening.
While some wailed uncontrollably, others just looked on in shock and confusion.
The wife of the slain Pastor, Mrs Comfort Nabegmado, however, is yet to come to terms with the incident, as she kept asking people how her husband was faring since he was taken to hospital after he was stabbed.