Obinim committed a crime, deserves to be punished – Lawyer

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Private legal practitioner, Irene Aborchie-Nyahe says founder of the International Godsway Church has committed a crime and must be punished.

She said the bishop, known for his controversial utterances and inappropriate attitude, violated the criminal offences Act (Act 29) and the Domestic Violence Act when he publicly flogged two members of his church.

Although the bishop has justified the act and denies any wrongdoing, Mrs Aborchie-Nyahe says his actions cannot be justified under any circumstances.

She told host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Kojo Yankson “Obinim has violated the laws of Ghana with his action.

“The constitution guarantees the dignity of every Ghanaian and for you to be flogged publicly and be ridiculed, it is not accepted,” she added.

Mrs Aborchie-Nyahe explained that the domestic violence act defines domestic violence as any act that seeks to cause physical harm, assault or any force that is used against a person, or if you subject any person to torture or any other inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

Therefore, once the bishop disclosed that he is responsible for the young adults, “He has actually committed a crime.”

The lawyer, who is also a complainant in the issue, says the prosecution has a lot of work to do to prove the crime, because the victims might not be forthcoming with the needed information since they are under the control of the bishop.

They might be influenced to even withdraw the case, she said, adding “that is why some of us have taken up the challenge because we cannot be convinced to withdraw the case.”

Since the video recording shows the bishop committing the offence, Mrs Aborchie-Nyahe is confident that the crime will be easily proven and that will go a long way to help in the proceedings.

“So we are standing on a good ground and we want to test the law and see how far we can go and I am convinced that we will be able to assist the prosecution [to secure] a verdict.

“We need to protect society, it is not allowed. He might be caught on a video but there are thousands more who are using religion to perpetuate violence. So it is very important for us to send the message out there that it is not okay for you to violate the rights of a citizen just because they have come to you for a relief or two,” she stressed.

Former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev Fred Deegbe who also contributed to the show, said the bishop’s behavior is appalling.

“What this brother has done is purely criminal. It is a criminal thing and there is no justification for it”, he said.

He indicated that no matter what scripture the bishop quotes, he cannot justify assault and battery in public for what he says are their deeds.

“If you’re parents of these children and you say you move around ministering and this happens in your home, you should bow down your head in shame because you have failed to bring them up properly.”

“Discipline does not mean flogging these children in public and humiliating them, then justifying it by quoting the bible,” Rev Deegbe said.

He stressed that the laws of the earth are applicable to all even though we are citizens of heaven, therefore, the bishop’s act is clearly irresponsible.

“Quoting proverbs and Mathew is a complete misapplication of scripture. I think that he has not done well, he should admit that he has committed assault and battery against his children and he must be dealt with properly.”

 

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