Prophet T.B. Joshua The controversial Synagogue Church of All Nations, headed by Prophet Temitope Balogun (TB) Joshua of Nigeria, is in for big trouble as its Ghana headquarters is heading for demolition.
This follows an Accra Fast Track High Court ruling that the church structure at No. 86 Spintex Road, otherwise referred to as Plot No. 36 Tema Motorway Industrial Area, in Accra should be removed within 30 days or face demolition.
The court, presided over by Justice K.A. Ofori-Atta, further restrained the church from using the property for church and any other activities, and again awarded costs of GH¢4,000 against the church, bringing to an end, a 20-month legal tussle with the landowners.
Documentary evidence sighted by DAILY GUIDE indicates that Synagogue Church of All Nations (Ghana) took advantage of a humanitarian gesture offered it to temporarily use the land for a tent and attempted to put up permanent structures on it.
According to the documents, the church, on 23rd March 2005 under the leadership of Rev. Ben Esuon, sought permission from one Nana Akosua Agyeman, owner of the 2.07 acre land for its church activities for free, which was granted.
Some of the terms in the agreement paper read: “For the avoidance of any doubt, it is hereby understood and agreed upon by both the Owner and the Church that the license hereby granted to the Church to temporarily occupy the property for the aforesaid period of one year from 1st January 2005 to 31st December, 2005 shall NOT be extended by the owner under any circumstances whatsoever”.
The agreement further stressed that, apart from the occupants quietly and peacefully vacating the property at the expiration of the period, they must pull down and remove any structure they have put up at their own expenses.
Francis Manu and Gladys Afari witnessed for the landowners while Nene Lemawu Adi IV and Andrew Yiadom Boachi witnessed for the church.
But when the time was up, the church refused to move as agreed, prompting the owners to go to court.
And in May 2007, about one-and-a-half years after the expiration of the date, the landlords filed a suit at the Accra Automated High Court, claiming a number of reliefs and costs.
Responding, the defendants filed a counterclaim, including the fact that officials of the Lands Commission at a time came onto the land to serve notice that it was a government land.
In his ruling on 26th January, 2009, Justice Ofori-Atta said he was convinced the land belonged to the plaintiff and that the agreement did not allow defendants to put up a permanent structure there.
“I am led to believe that the defendants erected the permanent structure as a way of compelling the plaintiff to sell the land to them or to obtain a long lease of the plot, none of which availed them,” he said, adding that the defendants defied the terms of the license granted them.
Concluding, the court ruled that the plaintiff should repossess the plot and eject the defendants; and went ahead to award damages of GH¢800 per month from 1st July, 2006 until such a time that defendants vacate the plot.
“The Defendants are ordered to remove the structures erected on Plaintiff's land within thirty days from today, failing which Plaintiff may demolish same at the Defendant's expense. I award costs of Four Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢4,000.00) to Plaintiff”.
Activities of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (Ghana) was first noticed over a decade ago at Agbogbloshie in the heart of Accra, but was not seen again for unclear reasons.
The Spintex Road Church then became its main citadel, even though it could not make any serious breakthrough in terms of numerical growth of membership.
The church, however, caught media attention, following series of miracles being recorded by the General Overseer, Prophet T.B. Joshua.
Its name was further propelled by President John Evans Atta Mills' recent TV testimonies to the effect that he too had received miracles from the church.
In his last visit to Ghana, during which he was reportedly given a red carpet treatment and a motorcade, Prophet Joshua, according to the media, was said to be making plans to revive the church in the country. It is however not clear how deadly this court ruling will have on that ambition.
By Bennett Akuaku