The trial of Bishop Daniel Obinim, the Founder of God’s Way International Church and two of his pastors began in an Accra Circuit Court with the complainant mounting the witness box.The two other pastors are Kingsley Baah and Solomon Abraham have been charged with abetment.
Madam Irene Abotchie-Nyahe, a private legal practitioner, recounted that how the video of Bishop Obinim and the two other pastors received criticisms at an international human rights conference in the USA.
According to Lawyer Abotchie-Nyahe, this was after the video was aired at the conference noting that the behaviour of the accused persons brought Ghana’s image into disrepute as the country.
She alleged that International firms such as Amnesty International called on Ghana government at that time over the video.
The complainant who was led in evidence by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Amegah said in the video, Bishop Obinim and his two pastors administered about 40 strokes on the two victims.
The complainant who is also the Director of Legal Assistance Network, a Human Rights organization, said she knew Obinim as a leader of the God’s ways International Church and he appeared on OB TV channel.
The witness told the court that “personally she did not know the victims in the video” but she could identify them whenever she sees them.
She mentioned the Victims as Eliasu and Agyeiwaa explaining that Section 4 and 6 of the Domestic Violence Act enabled her to file the complaint against the accused persons.
The witness, who is also an Executive member of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), said some vulnerable people were asked in the name of God to remove their clothes, others are beaten and stamped by some men of God.
She said her organisation became worried over such behaviours and as such on March 15, last year launched a programme dubbed: “Stop the abuse in Church”.
The legal practitioner said under the programme, various abuses were documented and same presented to the Attorney General for action to be taken.
On August 17, last year, the witness said her father was not well so she was in the house when she saw on OB TV channel Obinim violently abusing the victims in the presence of his congregation.
Witness said while watching the video she became traumatised so she informed a colleague at the office about it.
“Having composed myself the following day, I watched the video, adding, same had been captured on a Compact Disc (CD) and pen drive and a laptop.
“My Lord I wish to tender same in evidence,” the complainant said.
Soon after tendering the video, it was shown in court.
The complainant said she went to the Tema Regional Police to lodge a complaint.
The witness alleged that Kingsley Baah, the second accused person went to a private radio station and he admitted abusing the victims.
The witness alleged that from the video it was clear that Obinim knew about the victim’s (female’s) pregnancy yet portrayed to the whole world the pregnancy was revealed to him in a dream.
Bishop Obinim has been dragged before the Court for allegedly assaulting two adopted children – a 14 year old girl and a 16 year old boy who lived with him in the presence of his congregation.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail in the sum of GHC10,000 with one surety each.
The Prosecution narrated that the complainant, Irene Abochie-Nyahe, was a legal practitioner residing at Community 17, Lashibi.
It said on August 17, last year, at about 1700 hours, the Accra Branch of the Church held a service, at which Bishop Obinim claimed he had a revelation from God that the two alleged victims were engaged in pre-marital sex and the 14-year old girl was pregnant.
The prosecution said Obinim said the victim was in the process of aborting the pregnancy, therefore, the Holy Spirit had directed him (Obinim) to chastise the (teenagers) in the presence of the congregation.
In the full glare of the church, Obinim allegedly removed his belt and assaulted them.
In the process, his two pastors, Baah and Abraham, prevented the female victim from running away from the said punishment.
The prosecution said the victim could not bear the pain, hence she sought refuge with Mrs. Florence Obinim, but her husband asked her to stay away.
He said the assault only stopped after Obinim became content with the alleged punishment.
The matter was adjourned to March 10 for lawyer for Obinim to cross-examine the witness.