Monday, April 30, 2012

Obinim severely beat me - Hot FM Host

April 13, 2012 (Page 3) A newscaster at Hot FM, a private radio station in Accra, has recounted how the Founder of the International God’s Way Church, Bishop Daniel Obinim, and two others subjected him to severe beating. Mr Paul Kwame Ntim, who is the host of the ‘Nya Asem Hwe’ programme on Hot FM, said Obinim and one of the accused persons, Pastor Kofi Akwettey, stormed his studios around 9:45 p.m. on August 8, 2011, attacked him and vandalised the studio’s glass partition and property worth GH¢130,850. In his evidence-in-chief before the court Thursday, the witness said Obinim used a crowbar to hit his ribs several times and in the process he sustained severe injuries on his ribs, knees, fingers and fingernails. Another person standing trial with Obinim is Pastor Kingsley Baah. According to the prosecution, during the ‘Nya Asem Hwe’ programme, one of the topics discussed was Bishop Obinim’s sexual scandal and the playing of a tape- recording relating to the scandal, while issues relating to the bishop’s wife and the two accused persons were also discussed. On hearing the programme, the accused persons got infuriated and stormed the radio station with a crowbar and unleashed harm on Mr Ntim. According to the newscaster, Obinim attempted to hit his head with the crowbar but he managed to swerve and that resulted in Obinim causing injury to other parts of his body. The accused persons are jointly charged with unlawful entry, conspiracy to cause unlawful damage, causing unlawful damage, conspiracy to commit assault and assault. Bishop Obinim is facing one additional charge of causing harm. They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges and the court, presided over by Ms Audrey Korcuvie-Tay, has admitted them to bail in the sum of GH¢200,000, with three sureties each. Led by a Senior State Attorney, Ms Rebecca Adjalo, Mr Ntim said he was signing off from the Hot FM studios around 9:45 p.m. when he heard the shattering of one of the glass partitions to the studio. The witness told the court that he got up in a bid to escape from the onslaught but Obinim and Akwettey pushed him to a corner in the studio, after which Obinim began hitting his ribs several times with the crowbar. The witness said he was in the studio with a Rev Amoako Atta, two producers, a Mallam Alhassan and two others who had arrived at the studio with the Mallam when Obinim and the other accused persons entered the studio. He further narrated how those with him in the studio, except the Mallam, escaped when Obinim and his junior pastors stormed the studio. According to Mr Ntim, the Mallam who observed the assault unleashed on him managed to snatch the crowbar from Obinim, thereby giving him (Mr Ntim) the opportunity to escape from the studio. He said when he attempted to escape, Akwettey pursued him and held his shirt in an attempt to prevent him from escaping. Mr Ntim said he (Ntim) freed himself from his shirt, which eventually ended up in Akwettey’s hands, scaled a wall and fell on the road facing the radio station. According to him, he ran for half a kilometre and went to the Adabraka Police Station to report the incident. He said his two producers were already at the police station when he got there and while at the police station, the accused persons arrived in the company of policemen. The witness told the court that the accused persons had prevailed upon the police to detain him (witness) because they (accused persons) had been assaulted by the witness. However, the police gave him (witness) a medical form to seek medical attention because of the severity of injuries he had sustained at the hands of Obinim and Akwettey. Mr Ntim also stated that although Baah had been present at the studio, he (Baah) had not attacked him. He said he did not receive any notification from the reception that the accused persons were present and further pointed out that the accused persons were not expected at the studio because they were not part of the programme. Counsel for the accused persons, Mr Kwame Afriyie, is expected to cross-examine Mr Ntim on April 19, 2012.

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