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05.08.2013 General News

Court dismisses church elders' suit

By Daily Graphic
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The Fast Track Division of the High Court has dismissed an action by two elders of the Apostles Revelation Society that sought  a declaration that the 'College of Apostles' had no constitutional mandate or authority to manage the church.

According to the court, the plaintiffs, Messrs Benjamin Adika and Charles Kwame Dzidzorm, being members/elders of the church had no capacity to sue in respect of matters affecting the church.

The plaintiffs' suit was against Rev. Apostle Mathew Akunnor and seven others.

Among other things, the plaintiffs had also sought a declaration that the defendants' purported 'College of Apostles' was an unconstitutional body and unwarranted by the constitution, bye-laws and the practices of the church.

They further prayed for a declaration that the purported delegates conference of the church held at New Tadzewu on November 12, 2009, was in breach of the constitution of the church and unlawful.

In addition, the plaintiffs prayed for an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants from interfering with the management of the church and organising or interfering in any manner whatsoever with the organisation of the 70th anniversary of the church in the name of the 'College of Apostles'.

In its judgment, however, the court, presided over by Mr Justice Uuter Paul Dery, held that the plaintiffs, who sued in their personal capacities as registered members and elders of the church, did not sue in any representative capacity.

According to the court, the church, which was a registered body with trustees under the Trustees Incorporation Act, 1962 (Act 106) and which had the capacity to sue, had also not sued.

'The plaintiffs, therefore, lack the locus standi to institute this action for they have not sued in a representative capacity,' the court further held.

It said the determination of the other issues would be left for the proper occasion when the persons or body clothed with capacity take action.

'In that case, perhaps, all relevant facts would be available for the determinations of those issues,' it added.

The defendants were awarded cost of GH¢5,000.
By Timothy Gobah/Daily Graphic/Ghana

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