The Police say they are having difficulties in locating the two teenagers who were flogged on live TV during a church service in 2016 by controversial pastor Bishop Daniel Obinim on claims of engaging in pre-marital sex.
The two, a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy, are wanted by the Police to testify against Bishop Obinim who is being tried on charges of assault.
Bishop Obinim stirred up controversy with one at his Church on August 17, 2016, when subjected the two teenagers to whipping in front of his congregation and on live TV for allegedly fornicating.
The apparent furious Obinim did not understand why a young boy, whose father had died and was still in school, would have sex with an equally young girl who is learning a vocation.
This was after the two had confessed their ‘sins’ to Obinim when they were called before the entire congregation of the International God’s Way Church.
They were subjected to a beating by the pastor with men’s waist leather belt to the delight of the members of the church.
DSP George Amegah told a Circuit Court in Accra Wednesday that the prosecution is having a tough time in locating the two teenagers to appear before the court to testify in the case, which has been lingering over the past year.
The situation, he said, forced the Police to serve criminal summons on Obinim’s church administrator who at the investigation stage of the case brought the two teenagers to the police.
The two are principal prosecution witnesses in the case.
But Obinim’s lawyer returned the said criminal summons to the Police, something DSP Amegah said was contemptuous on the part of the for defence counsel.
Obinim’s lawyer, Mr Ralph Opoku Adusei who obtained the criminal summons and returned same with an attached with a letter to the Police, explained it was not the duty of his clients to provide the prosecution with the whereabouts of the victims.
He said his clients did not know the whereabouts of the victims but heard that they have left for Bunkprugu Yunyoo in the Northern Region.
The lawyer argued that the law did not make provisions for an accused person to assist prosecution to build a case against his clients.
The judge presiding over the case, Mrs Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku, having listened to both the defence counsel and the prosecution ordered that the criminal summons be served on the person last known to have custody of the two victims.
She then adjourned the case to May 9.
Bishop Obinim who is the founder of God’s Way International Church was put before court for allegedly assaulting the two children who he had adopted and lived with.
Two of his pastors, Kingsley Baah and Solomon Abraham have also been charged with abetment for their alleged role in the crime.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have since been on a GH¢10,000-bail with one surety each.
It is the case of the prosecution on August 17, 2016, 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.
Obinim claimed the victim was in the process of aborting the pregnancy and that the Holy Spirit had directed him (Obinim) to chastise the teenagers in the presence of the congregation.
According to the prosecution, in the full glare of the church, Obinim allegedly removed his belt and assaulted them.
The prosecution said in the process, his two pastors, Baah and Abraham, prevented the female victim from running away from the said punishment.
The victims who could not bear the pain sought refuge with Mrs Florence Obinim, but her husband asked her to stay away.
The assault only stopped after Obinim became content with the alleged punishment, the prosecution told the court.
The case was reported to the Police by one Irene Abochie-Nyahe, a legal practitioner residing at Community 17, Lashibi following which Obinim was arrested, investigated and put before court.