Break-away group loses legal battle against mother church
A move by a break-away group of the Church of the Lord Brotherhood to get a Ho High Court decision on the ownership of temples and parcels of land in Aflao and Sogakope overturned has suffered a setback.
The court had ruled that these rightly belong – are the bona fide property of the mother church.
The Apostle Kobla Fiadonu-led faction disagreed, claimed the trial court judge was wrong and took the matter to the Appeal Court.
The three-member panel, presided over by Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei, with Justices Cecelia H. Sowah and L. L. Mensah, as the other members, was however unconvinced and upheld the earlier ruling.
Apostle Fiadonu, who was the deputy to the Primate – overall head of the Church of the Lord Brotherhood had left the church because of reforms introduced in May 1998.
He saw the decision to allow members to wear shoes to the temple and stop the practice of segregation – isolating and confining women in their menses to a place in the temple called the ‘tent’ as crossing the red lines.
He instigated other senior members in some branches in the Volta Region and other West African French speaking countries to exit, to form the Church of the Lord Brotherhood International.
Attempts to persuade him to have a change of mind and rejoin the parent church were unsuccessful and he was subsequently dismissed both as member and minister of the church.
In 2009, the break-away group filed a court suit, asking among other reliefs, for a declaration to take possession of a parcel of land and a building on it at Sogakope.
The mother church would not let go its property, made counterclaims for title and recovery of possession of temples and parcels of land in Aflao and Sokagope and the case was decided in its favour.
Dissatisfied with the outcome, the group headed to the Appeal Court, seeking to reverse the judgement.
The appellate court, in its ruling said “having so practically, effectively and doctrinally broken away and elected a purported crusading leader, chosen a headquarters in Aflao, given a new name to their group, re-organized the annual delegates’ conference and limited itself to one corner of Ghana, that is parts of the Volta Region, the plaintiff should allow the defendants’ church to operate in peace”.
It added that the group “has no theocratic, factual or legal basis to disturb the progressive stand taken by the leadership to do away with man-made rules of the Church of the Lord Brotherhood”.
“We think as an appellate court, we should not disturb the findings of fact, and indeed the law as expounded by the learned trial judge as we affirm same.”