A Ho High Court has thrown out a suit filed by a breakaway faction of the church of the Lord Brotherhood over the title to a piece of land and property at Sogakope.
Trustees of the Church of the Lord Brotherhood International had gone to court seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that the said land and church building on it we being unlawfully occupied by the parent church.
It additionally asked for an order directing the defendants - Pastor Margaret Amoah, the Sogakope Minister, and Primate S. K. Adofo, the Leader of the Church of the Lord Brotherhood, to release documents on the land and building and recovery of possession, damages for trespassing and perpetual injunction, restraining them from entering the property.
The court, presided over by Justice Patrick Baayeh, after examining the evidence before it, held that the plaintiffs could not lay a claim to the land and church building.
He said members of the Church of the Lord Brotherhood International had on their own volition seceded from the Church of the Lord Brotherhood and “cannot claim any property acquired by the church before the secession.”
“I hold, therefore, that the Sogakope church building and all other properties contained therein are the bona fide property of the Church of the Lord Brotherhood.”
“The defendants, therefore, have every right to do whatever they want to do with it. They do not need the consent of the plaintiff to refurbish or even demolish and rebuild it.”
The court consequently awarded a cost of GH¢10,000 to the defendants.
The Church of the Lord Brotherhood International, headed by Apostle William Mensah Fiadonu, split from the parent church over doctrinal differences in respect of the wearing of shoes in the church and segregation against women. Women in their menstrual period cannot enter the main temple.
Apostle Fiadonu, who was one of the 18 diocesan heads that unanimously agreed to end the segregation and to allow members to wear shoes, later refused to go with the reforms.
The doctrinal reform decision had been taken during a three-day retreat from May 25 to May 27, 1998.
Apostle Fiadonu went ahead to organise a diocesan annual conference at Aflao from August 6 to August 7, 1999, where resolutions on formal separation from the mother church were adopted.
The plaintiff had, before the latest ruling, twice suffered court defeats in legal suits brought against the Sogakope branch of the Church of the Lord Brotherhood, first at the Dabala District Court and then at the Ho High Court.
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