In a lawsuit filed at the Accra High Court, the pastors want the court to compel the church’s leadership to retire as the continued occupancy of their positions breaches the church’s constitution.
6 Ghanaian pastors take general overseer to court for refusing to retire
Six unhappy pastors of the Divine Healer’s Church have sued their general overseer and four other principal officers of the church for their refusal to retire after attaining their retirement age.
According to Graphic Online, the suit was filed against the General Overseer, Apostle Isaac Kwabena Adade; the Deputy General Overseer, Apostle Maxwell Aryeetey Foster; the General Secretary, Apostle Kenneth Ashaley Addo; the Chairman of the National Youth Ministry, Apostle Emmanuel Acquaye, and the National Women’s Fellowship Leader, Apostle Dora Edith Osekre.
The plaintiffs argue that the above officials have attained age 65, an age the church’s constitution says they must retire. But the general overseer of the church claimed that the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he and his team should remain in office.
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It is the view of the plaintiffs, led by the Chairman of the Pastoral Council of the church and the Tema A2 Regional Head of the church, Apostle Daniel Mensah Attakpah that having served two five-year terms already, the defendants have no locus to remain in power or try to perpetuate their tenure.
Statement of claim
It is the contention of the six pastors that the continuous stay in office of the five principal officers of the church is against the constitution of the church and, therefore, unconstitutional.
“In spite of having attained the age limit of 65 in 2011 and having remained in office unconstitutionally for a second term as general overseer and member of the National Executive Council which ended in 2016, the second defendant continued to stay in office unconstitutionally and indefinitely without a proper procedure for his replacement.
“With reference to the third, fourth and sixth defendants, each of them has, just as the second defendant, remained in office unconstitutionally in their respective positions beyond their tenures of office which ended in 2016,” the plaintiffs stated in their statement of claim.
The plaintiffs also contend that the general overseer and the other principal officers, without consultation with the church members of the church, had hired a lawyer to amend the constitution to remove the age and term limits.
“The plaintiffs say further that members of the church have been helpless in the circumstances and since the defendants will not stop their unconstitutional stay in office and organise elections for the appointment of persons to replace them in their respective positions in the church, some of the members have left in protestation,” the statement of claim added.
The plaintiffs are, therefore, seeking a declaration from the court that the continuous stay in office of the five principal officers is unconstitutional.
They are also seeking an order directed at the church to organise fresh elections for the election of qualified members of the church to replace the five defendants.
Among other reliefs, the plaintiffs also want the court to order the defendants to render audited accounts to the church and new executives who would be elected to replace them.
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