The Management of the Fantasy Dome at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre has filed a motion at the Accra Circuit Court for the reopening of the facility and other third party lockdown equipment.
The Police have locked up the Fantasy Dome at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra, following reports that the youth wing of the Christ Embassy Church held a mammoth event at the venue on Friday, April 30, 2021, where COVID-19 protocols were flagrantly breached.
Lord Delvin Essandoh, holding brief for Jerry Avenorgbo, Counsel for Edmond Dapaah, the Facility Manager, who is also the fourth accused person, said the instruments and equipment locked up belonged to third parties.
He said the facility, which served as a source of livelihoods for the fourth accused person and other employees, had since April 30, 2021, been closed to the public and it also served as a recording studio, where other economic activities took place.
“Currently, there is pressure on the Management of the facility from third party companies because of the instruments and equipment, which were hired for the programme,” he said.
Mr Essandoh prayed to the Court for an order to reopen the Dome and release the instruments and equipment to restore the livelihoods of the people at the facility.
Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu, the prosecutor, indicated that the State was not opposed to the motion.
The Court has since deferred the ruling on the motion to July 15, 2021.
The State in the substantive case amended the charge sheet of four persons arraigned for their involvement in the breach of the COVID-19 protocols during the “Pneumatic Night” all-night Service held by the youth wing of the Christ Embassy Church.
The accused persons – Alex Asomani, Wilson Delali Agyemang, Kumi Nutifafa, all members of the Church, were charged for conspiracy to commit crime and three counts of failing to comply with the restrictions imposed on religious bodies.
Also in the dock was Edmond Dapaah, the Facility Manager at the Fantasy Dome of the International Trade Fair Centre, who has been charged for abetment of crime.
They pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The accused persons will rely on their previous bail granted them in the sum of GH¢80,000 each with two sureties.
The prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu, told the court that on May 4, 2021, the Police gathered intelligence that the Youth Wing of Christ Embassy Church, Ghana had organized an all-night service dubbed “Pneumatic Night” at the Fantasy Dome within the Trade Fair Centre without obeying COVID-19 safety protocols.
He said video footage of the said church service was also cited on various social media platforms and in the video, it was observed that the congregants were not wearing face or nose masks.
“Upon the intelligence gathered, the Police proceeded to the Trade Fair Center, where the Head of Security of the Centre in the person of Justice Tuuru Konlan was met,” he said.
The Prosecution said the Head of Security confirmed to the Police that the Christ Embassy Church organized the said programme on April 30, 2021, at about 2000 hours at the Fantasy Dome within the Trade Fair Center and closed on May 1, 2021, in the morning.
He said Mr Konlan added that the Management of the Fantasy Dome did not officially inform the Management of the Trade Fair Centre about the said programme.
Chief Inspector Apiorsornu said the Police conducted an inspection within the Fantasy Dome as well as the Round Pavilion and upon measuring the intervals between the arranged chairs, it was observed that the one-meter rule of social distancing between congregants was not observed.
Also, there was no fresh air ventilation and that the Church relied on air conditioners.
He said further enquiries revealed that the programme exceeded the maximum two-hour duration.
The prosecution said on May 6, 2021, Master Asomani, a National Service Person, Mr Agyeman an Entrepreneur, Mr Kumi, a Businessman, who were the organizers of the all-night church service, were arrested by the Police.
He said Mr Dapaah, was also arrested by the Police for questioning and in their investigation cautioned statements, they could not give any tangible reasons for flouting the COVID-19 protocols.
After investigations, the accused persons were charged with the offences as stated on the charge sheet and arranged for court.
The Court has ordered the Prosecution to make disclosures on documents they intended to rely on during the trial.