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26.06.2004 General News

Court orders cessation of Winners Chapel Activities

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Accra, June, GNA - An Accra Circuit Court on Friday granted an order of prohibition restraining members of the Winners Chapel from congregating on the church premises or any place in Ghana in the name of the church for the next 14 days. This followed the granting of an exparte motion the Police Administration filed seeking the prohibition to avert serious breach of the peace.

Mrs Elizabeth Ankumah, Circuit Court Judge, in granting the order noted that the alleged kidnappings of members from the opposing parties and the firing of firearms may lead to a breach of the peace and loss of life and properties. She said: "It is hereby ordered that Bishop George Adjeman and his faction and Bishop David Oyedepo, Spiritual Head or his representatives in Ghana, their agents, assigns, privies etc, and the entire membership of Winners Chapel and its branches in Ghana are prohibited from congregating on church premises or any other place that they may operate in the name of the church for a period of 14 days."

She said it was in order for the Police to take pre-emptive action to forestall any possible breach of the peace since it had the constitutional mandate to do so. Deputy Superintendent of Police Dudimah Zakariah told the Court that there had been allegations of kidnappings between the factions and also the firing of pistols by a member belonging to Bishop Adjeman's faction at a hotel where the representatives of Bishop Oyedepo were staying. Nana Owusu Nsiah in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the move was taken to forestall any clashes between the supporters of Pastor Adjeman and the Executives of the Church.

The Executives of the church recently transferred Pastor Adjeman to another branch but he refused to go saying that it was a deliberate attempt to get rid of him from Accra. The matter was referred to the Ghana Pentecostal Council (GPC) for amicable settlement.

In their report, the GPC concluded that to avoid any unpleasant episode, the premises of the Accra branch of the church should be shut down until further notice and asked Bishop Adjeman to comply with the dismissal by the Leadership of the Church and vacate his office. They also stated that a compensation package of 50,000 dollars meant for Bishop Adjeman had been nullified, even though, the Church had the ability to pay. The Church was established a few years ago by a Nigerian Clergyman, Bishop Oyedepo and has its headquarters in Nigeria.