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Bailiff escapes lynching while enforcing writ of possession at Saviour Church

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File photo: Gavel

A bailiff escaped lynching by a mob while enforcing a writ of possession at the Headquarters of Saviour Church of Ghana at Akyem Osiem in the Eastern Region.

The bailiff stormed the headquarters of the church on Tuesday morning of June 28, 2022, with Police escort to enforce judgment for the possession of immovable property of the church in the house of the judgement debtor, Opanyin Abraham Adusei, General Superintendent of Saviour Church of Ghana.

However, in the cause of the enforcement, members of the church in the community massed up in the house holding sticks and other dangerous implements to threaten the Police and the bailiff.

However, the armed police numbering about 20 protected the bailiff to retreat to avoid violent confrontations.

The angry residents alleged that the bailiff ransacked the private house of Opanyin Abraham Adusei which is not part of the Church’s property whilst away at Afram Plains to visit his commercial farms.

The incident has heightened tension at the headquarters of Saviour Church at Akyem Osiem as members of the church continue to troop in to solidarise with their spiritual head.

Security has since been tightened as members of the church have mounted checkpoints to screen persons who enter the Headquarters of the Church.

Background

In 2021, the Supreme Court confirmed Opanyin Abraham Adusei, a former Council of State member under the erstwhile Mahama administration, as the leader of Saviour Church of Ghana.

This was in a three-two majority decision by a five-member panel of the apex court presided over by His Lordship, Justice Yaw Appau . Other members of the panel included Justice Gabriel Pwamang, Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, and Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu.

The court further ordered the Registrar General to cancel and expunge from the records of certificate of incorporation No. G19550 dated February 7, 2007, in the name Saviour Church of Ghana on the claims of fraud.

It also ruled that the plaintiff, its directors, their privies, and associates are perpetually restrained from holding themselves as having something to do with the church.

There was, however, an exception that the defendant on the terms set by the [plaintiff] may readmit any member of the Asante Asirifi faction back into the church.

The ruling followed 24 years of litigation after the death of Isaac Asirifi Asante when some members initiated legal action to restrain Opanyin Abraham Adusei as the General Superintendent and from using the name of the church to do spiritual and religious activities.

The plaintiffs, Asante Asirifi Dadeako and two others, alleged the church was incorporated in 2007 as a limited liability company, saying they alone had the legal right to operate with the church’s name.

Earlier in 2014, the Court of Appeal, presided over by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, dismissed review application and awarded a cost of GH¢10, 000.00 against the appellant, Mr Asirifi, and two others.

However, in March 2022, the Supreme Court in four -three decisions overturned the earlier rulings that confirmed Opanyin Abraham Kwaku Adusei as the leader of Saviour Church in review application filed by the plaintiffs, Mr Asante Asirifi Dadeako and two others.

The panel, presided over by His Lordship, Justice Dotse with other members of the panel -Justice Gabriel Pwamang, Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga and Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu, Justice Prof. Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu and Justice Yonny Kulendi ruled that Opanyin Abraham had no right to any branch or property of Saviour Church, hence cannot take custody of its own branches.

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