General News of Saturday, 11 March 2017
The lawyer for Bishop Daniel Obinim has accused the complainant in the case in which the bishop has been charged for abusing two teenagers of being an opportunist.
At yesterday’s hearing at the Accra Circuit Court, Lawyer Raphael Poku Adusei claimed the complainant, Ms Irene Abochie-Nyahe, was seeking fame and an opportunity to advance her legal career.
He further submitted that the complainant and her organisation, known as Legal Assistance Network Ghana, wanted to ride on the back of the popularity of Bishop Obinim to attract media attention.
“Your motivation in this case is to be popular in order to advertise your services to the public. You also want to make yourself relevant in the legal profession,’’ he said.
Mr Adusei made these submissions when he cross-examined Madam Abochie-Nyahe.
Service for humanity
In her response, Ms Abochie-Nyahe vehemently refuted the counsel’s assertion and said she reported the “self-styled angel’’ to the police as part of her passion to help the vulnerable in society.
She explained that her organisation had over the years worked on pro bono basis to help people in society who could not access legal services.
Popularity or fame, she said, was not the reason why she reported Bishop Obinim’s action to the police, saying: “I don’t need unwarranted popularity to help the vulnerable in society.
“My only ambition is to reflect the oath that I took on the day I was called to the Bar to help protect the vulnerable in society,’’ she said.
The cross-examination will continue on March 23, 2017 at the court, presided over by Mrs Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku.
Bishop Obinim and two of his pastors are facing legal action for allegedly flogging two teenagers during a church service.
The bishop has pleaded not guilty to physical abuse, while Pastor Kingsley Baah and Pastor Solomon Abraham have also pleaded not guilty to abetment of crime.
All the three accused persons are on bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 with one surety.
The facts of the case are that the alleged incident was reported to the police by a legal practitioner.
The prosecution said the two victims, aged 16 and 14, were Bishop Obinim’s adopted children.
On August 17, 2016, the prosecution explained that during a church service, “Bishop Obinim claimed he had a revelation from God that the two victims had been engaging in premarital sex, resulting in pregnancy.’’
It added that Bishop Obinim announced that “he had been directed by the Holy Spirit to chastise them in front of the whole congregation”.
“He immediately subjected the two victims to serious beatings with his black leather belt, in the full glare of the congregation,’’ it said.
According to the prosecution, Bishop Obinim was assisted to indulge in the act by Pastor Baah and Pastor Abraham.
“Pastor Baah held the girl and prevented her from running away, while Bishop Obinim continued to beat her. When she could not bear the pain anymore, she sought refuge from Bishop Obinim’s wife, Mrs Florence Obinim,’’ it explained.
It added that Pastor Abraham brought the girl back for Bishop Obinim to continue with the beating.
“Bishop Obinim, assisted by the two pastors, continued to physically abuse the two teenagers till they were satisfied before releasing them,’’ the prosecution said.