An Accra Circuit Court on Wednesday sentenced Benjamin Quaye Commey, a businessman, to nine months imprisonment with hard labour for defrauding an elder of the Musama Disco Christo Church, Teshie branch, of GHS20,000.00.
In addition, the Court presided over by Mr Emmanuel Essandoh ordered Commey to pay GHS12,500.00 to Victoria Arthur, the prosecution witness, as compensation.
Commey who had denied that his action was fraudulent, was, however, found culpable after the trial.
The Court convicted him on August 16 but the sentence was deferred till October 10.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Man-Anit Sampana told the Court that Victoria was an elder of Musama Disco Christo Church, Teshie branch in Accra.
The prosecution said elders of the church decided to establish another branch at a different location within Teshie.
He said, Commey, who was a member of the church, was subsequently informed about the intention to get a parcel of land for that purpose. The convict assured the church elders that he would help in getting a land.
DSP Sampana said, Commey then led the elders to inspect a parcel of land. The elders after the inspection expressed interest in acquiring it, and the convict informed them that the cost of the land was GHS70,000.00.
The elders through Victoria then made a part payment of GHS20,000.00 to Commey in July 2016.
The prosecution said, the elders erected some pillars on the demarcated boundaries of the land. At the elders’ next visit to the land, they observed that the pillars had been removed and another person had entered the same parcel of land and was developing it.
The prosecution said Victoria upon inquiries discovered that Commey had resold the same parcel of land to another person.
The prosecution explained that all efforts to retrieve the GHS20,000.00 part-payment made to Commey proved futile.
A formal complaint was subsequently lodged with the Osu Police leading to the arrest of Commey and after investigation, he was arraigned.