General News of Monday, 22 August 2016
A private legal practitioner, who has sued the International Godsway Church (IGC) and its founder, Bishop Daniel Obinim, for the alleged assault of two teenagers during a service, has called for the arrest of the victims’ mothers for defending the preacher’s actions.
The two mothers have come out in defence of Obinim, stating that God was acting through him to punish their children for their ‘immoral’ actions.
“God used Obinim to flog the children so that other young people will learn from it and the young ladies will take care of themselves. To me it was very necessary because it is a lesson that everybody should learn from,” one of the mothers said.
However, Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu said that although the comments from the mothers were irrelevant to the case itself and does not exonerate Obinim of his ‘crime’, the two women should be arrested for condoning his actions.
“There are two clear issues as far as this case is concerned. One of them has to do with the crime that has been committed by Obinim by his conduct. The fact that the mothers are saying they support Obinim does not absolve Obinim of what he did,” he told Citi News.
“Indeed if we had to press further, it means that the CID would immediately have to arrest not only Obinim but the mothers as well. It’s still a constitutional infraction of the rights of these children as enshrined in the constitution. All of them must be arrested and questioned before we even know how to proceed as far as the criminal one is concerned.”
The video showing Obinim, whipping the two teenagers with a belt during a service at the church for allegedly engaging in sexual relations and attempting to abort a subsequent pregnancy, went viral on social media provoking condemnation from most Ghanaians.
Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, on Friday, sued Obinim and his church over the incident. The police have indicated that they are looking into the matter, while the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has filed a complaint against Obinim at the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU).
Another complaint had been reportedly been filed against the controversial preacher at the Tema General Office.
Sosu, along with Daniel Agbavor and Lawyer Irene Aborchie, sued the preacher and the church over the “violation of the 1992 Constitution, as it relates to the protection of dignity of every member of the Respondent’s Church who is a Ghanaian whose rights are protected by the 1992 Constitution.”
According to him, they are seeking a declaration from the court that similar actions done under the guise of religion are unacceptable and must be restrained.
“The litigation we are doing at the Human Rights Court is a public interest litigation, it’s not only about Obinim. We are seeking a declaration that the exercise of religious freedoms that violate the dignity of men must be restrained by the Court. We are considering going to the Supreme Court for a constitutional interpretation to that effect,” he said.