The General Overseer of the Vineyard Chapel International, Bishop Vaglas Kanco, has denied defrauding a British national to the tune of £120,000.
He told the Accra Circuit Court that the money was a gift from the complainant, Ms Clova Sutherland, after she had attended a deliverance session and been healed of her cancer.
According to him, “the money was not extraordinary in the line of my work as an evangelist and man of God”.
Pastor Kanco was alleged to have, lured the complainant into believing that she would die if she did not allow him to pray over a £120,000 cheque she had issued in the name of her former lover whom Bishop Kanco had described as evil.
According to the prosecution, Bishop Kanco managed to convince the complainant to re-issue the cheque in his name in order for him to pray over it and return it to her on a later date.
Bishop Kanco, who has pleaded not guilty to one count of defrauding by false pretence, is currently on a GH¢300,000 bail.
Led by his counsel to give his evidence-in-chief, Pastor Kanco told the circuit court that it was not true he lured the complainant into re-issuing the cheque in his name.
He also denied claims by the complainant that he held counselling sessions with her, after which he convinced her to re-issue the cheque in his name.
Giving the background to the incident, Pastor Kanco said he was invited by Alive Chapel International to London as a guest speaker for a three-day prayer and deliverance session.
He said the host pastor, after the three-day prayer and deliverance session, urged the congregation to bless him (Pastor Kanco) with gifts, to which they obliged and handed him gifts both in cash and in kind.
According to the accused person, on his arrival in Ghana, he opened the gifts and realised one of the envelopes contained £120,000, with a call back number.
He said he called back the complainant and thanked her for her kindness, adding that the complainant informed him that she had been healed of her cancer after the deliverance session.
He, however, denied that the complainant had discussed problems between her and her ex-partner with him, as well as taking the cheque to pray over it and returning it to her later.
Pastor Kanco said he paid the cheque into his account at the Makola Branch of the Barclays Bank and there was no point in time that the complainant called to demand her money back.
He also, denied the complainant’s claim that he had been evasive after he received the cheque, adding that he had visited London three times between May 2003 and September 2009 after receiving the money and at no point in time was he confronted by a policeman or anyone else while in London.
Pastor Kanco said, it was also not true that a pastor in London confronted him and advised him to pay back the money.
The accused person admitted he wrote a letter of undertaking to refund the money in a bid to have access to the woman for a talk.
According to the accused person, he was invited by the Ghana Police in December 2009 and accused the police of attempting to force him to pay back the money to the complainant.
The prosecution is expected to cross-examine the witness on November 11,2010.
Source: D Graphic