A human rights lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu, has described the public lashing of two teenagers by Bishop Daniel Obinim as an “unacceptable” act that should not be happening in 21st century Ghana and has resolved to sue the man of God for human rights abuse.
A video of the founder of the International God’s Way Church flogging the teenage lovers for fornicating went viral on social media on Thursday, 18 August.
The video has generated a barrage of criticism from some religious groups and human rights advocates.
Sharing his views on the video with Class News, Mr Xavier Sosu said the bishop has no right to publicly humiliate the two teenagers, especially in a country where there are laws against such acts.
“It is completely unacceptable; this is complete madness for want of better words. This shouldn’t be happening in the 21st century, this shouldn’t be happening in a country that believes in the fundamental rights of citizens wherever they may be. … A person’s right to self-dignity is not curtailed merely because he/she becomes a member of your church,” he stated.
“Clearly, what happened in this video is dehumanising and it is degrading and the constitution is so clear in Article 15 that no person shall be subjected to any form of degrading treatment. Clearly, they violated the dignity of these people and Article 15 (1) says that the dignity of every Ghanaian shall be inviolable, in other words you will not violate it, and you will not do anything to detract from the dignity of a person. How can you bring two people before a congregation of thousands of people and start beating them up publicly in the name of them having fornicated…it is completely unacceptable,” Mr Xavier Sosu added.
The human rights lawyer suggested that the case should either be taken up by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police Service or the victims should file assault charges against the bishop.
“The first option is that the victims themselves who clearly from the video looked like mature people or adults obviously above 18 years must take steps to report to the nearest police station. Beyond that, I think the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the police should be interested themselves in this case and invite Obinim and the victims and see whether by investigations, evidence could still be established against Obinim to stand criminal prosecution. Apart from that, we at the FX Law and Associates are considering a human rights action against the God’s Way International Ministry and Bishop Obinim himself for a declaration that his conduct on this and other previous conducts he has been exhibiting clearly violate the rights of citizens. The fact that they are members of your church doesn’t mean that they are no more Ghanaians and they are not protected by the human right provisions by the constitution of Ghana,” he stressed.
MeanwhileBishop Obinim in an audio statement has explained that he flogged his 14-year-old adopted daughter and her 16-year-old boyfriend openly in church because they fornicated and tried aborting the girl’s pregnancy.
He said his accusers must first understand the reasons behind his disciplinary action against the two teen lovers before criticising him.
Sign up here to receive daily email alerts of breaking news in Ghana, Africa. GhanaStar.com is your source for all Ghana News. Get the latest Ghana news, breaking news, sports, politics, entertainment and more about Ghana, Africa and beyond.