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Ghanaian pastor who flogged 'lovebirds' in church arrested over $2.9m fraud

Ghanaian pastor who flogged 'lovebirds' in church arrested over $2.9m fraud

Ghana

The Ghanaian pastor who flogged two adulterous members of his congregation during a church service has been arrested. Police confirmed that he was arrested in connection with a fraud case.

The pastor is said to have taken gold and monies totaling GHc 11.6 million (equivalent to $2.9m) from a complainant with the view to spiritually bless and increase the wealth. The bishop had failed to deliver on his promise or to give back the gold and money.

Bishop Daniel Obinim of the International God’s Way Church was held by police in Ghana’s industrial region of Tema after he handed himself in following an invitation from the police over the widely publicized flogging.

We have just commenced investigation into this issue, when we finish we will hand him over to Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) to investigate the domestic violence issue.

“We have just commenced investigation into this issue, when we finish we will hand him over to Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) to investigate the domestic violence issue,” police disclosed to local media outlet, Joy FM.

Local media portals report that he was subsequently transferred to the Police headquarters in Accra for further questioning after his church members massed up at the Tema police station.

One of his associate pastors, who was on the viral social media clip of the flogging has also been charged with abetment of crime. Pictures making the rounds on Ghana’s social media space shows the Bishop in handcuffs with his associate pastor at the police headquarters in Accra.

Background to the story

Bishop Obinim was seen on video publicly flogging two young members of his church for indulging in fornication. The pastor used a belt to repeatedly flog the two who are said to be living with him.

The sexual escapades of the two is said to have resulted in a pregnancy that was subsequently aborted. The young lady is said to be an apprentice beauty therapist, whiles the young boy is unemployed.

The flogging was filmed and broadcast on the church’s TV channel and later went viral on social media.

Outrage and call for Obinim’s arrest

In the wake of the footage of the flogging, a huge social condemnation followed with calls for the arrest of the maverick preacher who has in the past courted controversy by his actions.

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, reported Obinim to the Accra Regional Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVSSU), while another person also lodged a complaint against the bishop at the Tema Regional Police.

A private legal practitioner also filed a suit against the pastor for his actions. Lawyer Sosu is seeking an order from the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court that would protect what he described as the fundamental human rights of members of Bishop Obinim’s church.