A DISTRICT Court at Pokuase, a suburb of Accra, has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the General Overseer of the Emmanuel Salvation Church International, Apostle Anthony Ahenkan, to appear before Her Worship, Mrs. Abena Agyin-Doku on June 1, 2009.
The judge issued the warrant as a result of Apostle AhenkanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s failure to appear before the court to answer charges of excessive noise making leveled against his Church almost two years ago.
Information reaching DAILY GUIDE however indicates that the general overseer was at the church premises, holding his usual Wednesday consultations at the time he was supposed to be in court yesterday.Ã‚Â
What separates the Church from the complainant, Madam Grace AmpaduÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house is a wall. She lives in the same abode with her not too fit 75-year-old mother, who is on medication due to the many ailments attributed with old age.
Both the complainant and the accused have their facilities situated at Chantan, New Achimota, opposite the Abotare Clinic.
The court process, which, according to sources, started on 24th May, 2007, had received about 35 adjournments without any verdict yet; the latest being 6th May, 2009.Ã‚Â
Meanwhile, information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates that during the ChurchÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Wednesday, Friday and Sunday activities, members make excessive and uncontrollable noise at the detriment of residents in the vicinity.
For the Abotare Street Residents Association (ASRA), these negative human activities are making life unbearable for residents.
To this effect, opinion leaders in the community decided to hold talks with the Head Pastor of the Church to see how best the excessive cacophony could be curtailed but reports had it that he failed to attend the said meeting.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“On Tuesday the 14th of February, 2006, the residents associationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s invitation to the church for a noise curtailment meeting on Friday the 19th of February, 2006 was deliberately and disrespectfully ignored; prompting the association to pass a resolution which has also been ignoredÃ¢â‚¬Â, it was disclosed.
The resolution was that the use of microphones and other musical instruments should be avoided from 10pm till dawn. However, all these warnings by the community members fell on deaf ears.
Furthermore, the complainant, Madam Ampadu wrote a letter dated 5th June, 2006 to the District Chief Executive of the Ga West District Assembly at Amasaman, enquiring if the plot marked Ã¢â‚¬ËœYÃ¢â‚¬â„¢(the plot on which Emmanuel Salvation Church is occupying) was for a Church or residential purpose.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I humbly crave your indulgence to furnish me with details whether the plot marked Ã¢â‚¬ËœYÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ on site plan attached, is for residential purposes or for a church. The plot marked Ã¢â‚¬ËœYÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is situated at Chantan, New Achimota which falls under your jurisdiction,Ã¢â‚¬Â the letter read.
It went on to say that Ã¢â‚¬Å“Honourable, a charismatic church by name Emmanuel Salvation Church has been established about six months ago on this plot marked Ã¢â‚¬ËœYÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and it is directly opposite Abotare Clinic.
The noise emanating from this church, both day and all night services, especially Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, has drawn the attention of the entire residence of this area to fight for their fundamental human rightsÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Though a report was made to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the delicate issue, another letter by the complainant to the agency indicated that the noise level had even worsened while documents and permit for the churchÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s operation on the premises on or before the 14th of August, 2006 was not forthcoming.Ã‚Â
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE, a resident and Secretary to ASRA, Samuel Apreko-Yempew, noted that the Emmanuel Salvation Church operates with impunity, defying every directive given to members to control their unwarranted noise making.
Although there are other churches around, he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have no qualms with them because they comply with whatever we tell them but it is only this church that is giving us severe headaches in the areaÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have been dragging this case in court for close to two years and we hope that the court would finally hear our cry for us to have some peace and quietness in the vicinity,Ã¢â‚¬Â he prayed.
By Nathaniel Y.Yankson