Ghana: Church Kidnaps Newsmen – Others Beaten in the Name of God

(THE CHRONICLE) Three reporters from Adom FM who were sent on a fact-finding mission at the Mighty Chapel International at Accra New Town yesterday, had a shock of their lives when they were physically assaulted by the church members, with two being taken hostage.

The three are, Samuel Nii Narku Dorwuona, News Editor, Kofi Adoma, a reporter, Ricky Anokye, and Isaac Kwadwo Owusu, an intern.

Isaac Kwadwo Owusu and Kofi Adoma were the two briefly taken hostage by the angry church members, after identifying them to be journalists.

The intern, The Chronicle learned, had gone to the church to follow up an assault case on some former members of the church upon a directive by his news editor, Nii Narku Dorwuona.

Upon entering the church premises and being detected to be a journalist, the angry church members pounced on him and physically assaulted him, before handing him over to the Kotobabi Police, after taking him hostage for some time.

Kofi Adoma, in an interview with The Chronicle, said the intern was dispatched to the church premises at 9:00 GMT, following a tip-off that a fight had ensued between the church members.

According to him, several calls to Mr. Kwadwo Owusu went unanswered until an anonymous church member called their offices that their reporter had been “kidnapped.”

“After hearing the news, management sent Ricky Anokye, the Adom TV Manager, to the church premises. When he got there, he realised that he would be overpowered, and so called for back-up reporters. So, I went to the place with Nii Narku Dorwuona, and when I took a picture of the church’s billboard positioned outside the church premises, the angry church members pounced on me, dragged me inside the church, seized my camera, and subjected me to severe beatings. My colleague, Nii Narku, was also not spared,” noted Kofi Adoma.

Narrating his ordeal to The Chronicle, Mr. Dorwuona said he was physically attacked outside the premises of Mighty Chapel International when he tried to intervene and rescue his colleague who had been attacked by the angry church members.

“I was attacked by two women who subjected me to severe beatings. One held my shirt, and when I tried to free myself, the other held the waist of my trousers from behind and started pulling. And in the process, she tore the trousers exposing my underwear,” a distressed-looking Dorwuona noted, after lodging a complaint to the Kotobabi Police.

Crime Officer DSP John Coffie, in an interview with The Chronicle, confirmed that an assault case had been reported to his outfit by a group of reporters from Adom FM, but noted that “nobody was kidnapped.”

According to him, one reporter from Adom FM had gone to the Mighty Chapel International to interview the Head Pastor, Chief Mensah, but failed to produce his ID card when confronted by the church members.

“The reporter started interrogating the issue after failing to produce his ID card. So, the church members seized his phone and a camera, and brought him to the Police Station. But after listening to him, we advised that the boy be sent to the pastor for him to grant him audience. So, it is not true that he was kidnapped,” DSP Coffie explained.

He told The Chronicle that Pastor Chief Mensah had lodged a complaint to the police that a breakaway instrumentalist and a pastor had been spreading falsehood that he was using ‘juju’ to run his church.

According to him, the said breakaway instrumentalist and the pastor, who were having a meeting with the colleague members opposite the Mighty Chapel, decided to set him (Pastor Chief Mensah) up by sprinkling a concoction on the premises of the church, but when their diabolic plan was detected by some of the church members, they confronted them.

“One of the breakaway church members hit the pastor, and this infuriated the Mighty Chapel members to retaliate, leading to the riot at the premises of the church on Sunday evening. The feuding factions lodged a complaint, and we detained them until yesterday morning, when they were given medical forms for check up,” he said.

He said some of his men had been dispatched to the church premises to protect lives and properties while investigation continues.

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