A pastor who allegedly hired a woman to pose as a cripple and ‘healed’ her during a church service has been arrested in Ghana.
The suspect, Jonas Abedi, 35, is being held together with the woman, Helena Donkor, 40, and three others.
The others are Enoch Mortey, 29, who posed as a pastor; Divine Kwadwo Columbus, 36, a self-acclaimed prophet, and Christiana Quainoo, 36, who posed as a sister of the cripple who had brought her to the church for healing.
Abedi was said to have performed the ‘miracle’ at a church he was visiting for a two-day programme.
The Odorkor District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police Mr Abraham Acquaye, told the Daily Graphic that the incident happened on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.
He said Abedi had been invited by the Founder of Power Explosion Chapel at Tantra Hills in Accra, Rev Ewurama Annan, after the two had established contact through Facebook.
Mr Acquaye said Power Explosion Chapel hosted Abedi and his two pastor friends in a hotel for the programme, which was held on Sunday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 11, 2014.
“During the service on Tuesday, Abedi asked the congregation if there was any sick person in the church and Quainoo responded that she had brought her crippled sister,” he said.
The pastor, Mr Acquaye said, led the congregation to pray for the sick woman who had come to the church with crutches and was unable to stand on her legs.
After the church had prayed, the police commander said, the pastor asked her to walk, and instantly the woman was able to walk and even jumped without the crutches and support of her sister.
Earlier, the commander said, Abedi had called a young man from the congregation and told him that he was involved in the use of charms to seduce older women and that he was in the church because of a woman.
“To prove a point, Abedi said the young man was carrying the charm and a condom in his pocket and asked him to bring them out. The man brought out a substance and a condom,” he said.
Another man was also said to have been called to the front of the congregation, after which Abedi mentioned the name and the telephone number of the man and revealed other personal details, to the surprise of the congregation.
However, Mr Acquaye said, the founder of the church told the police that she became suspicious after the service, since all the people Abedi ministered to were not members of her church.
She, therefore, detailed some elders of the church to monitor those people and Abedi.
At the end of the service, the woman who had been healed carried her crutches and put them behind a waiting four-wheel drive vehicle at a filling station near the church where she waited with her supposed sister.
The other two men also joined them and a man walked to them and gave them money, which the elders suspected to be payment for their services.
With the help of the Odorkor District Police night patrol team, the elders managed to apprehend the two women, while the two men bolted.
The pastor and his two friends were later arrested at their hotel.
Mr Acquaye said on interrogation, Helena and Christiana confessed that they had been contracted by a lady who gave them the crutches and asked them to put up the charade for a fee of GH¢50 each.