Public disgust and condemnation have greeted the latest video circulating on social media in which the Founder and General Overseer of the International God’s Way Church (IGWC), Bishop Daniel Obinim, is seen whipping a young man and woman with his belt.
Knowledge of what happened between the two, Bishop Obinim said, came to him during a prophecy time in his church that the young man, whose name was given only as Elliasu, had impregnated the lady, also known as Gyesiwaa.
The situation of Elliasu had been worsened by the fact that his father had died and his mother was “poor and could not take care of him.”
Father disciplining his children’
The media aide to Bishop Obinim, Mr Joseph Osei Oppong Brenya told the radioxyzonline that the church stood by the action of its leader who was disciplining his children who had gone wayward.
He said the mothers of both victims were in the church when the “Man of God” did the “disciplining”.
In the video, which was originally broadcasted on OBTV, the television channel of Bishop Obinim, he was seen holding a black belt with which he was repeatedly beating up the two.
The young man had his shirt removed and was beaten on his exposed back.
As he whipped, he said “you are a fool” and “you are stupid” asking intermittently that “why are you such a fool” and ending the statement with “stupid”.
At a point in time, he gave his belt to one of his assistants to continue the beating of the young man while ordering another to pull out his belt and whip the young lady.
No help from anywhere
Apparently unable to stand the pain, the lady ran to the wife of Bishop Obinim, Mrs Florence Obinim, who was then seated on the dais but she could offer her no help since her husband shouted that “Florence, get away from her” and further directed his other assistants that if she came close to any of them, they should give her a slap and bring her back to him.
Like Christ, during his trial where people shouted “crucify him”, voices could be heard from some members of the church shouting “beat them.”
The public backlash occasioned by the video has angered a good number of persons who have called for the prosecution of Bishop Obinim.
Crazy and unacceptable behaviour
Mr Sosu, a lawyer known for public interest advocacy, has taken up the case and was preparing a writ challenging the behaviour of Bishop Obinim.
He described the action of Bishop Obinim as “crazy and unacceptable” and that “if we do not do anything about it, things will get worse.”
Asked whether the ‘victims’ in the situation had consented to the humiliating treatment, he said that the constitutional provision that had to do with the protection of human rights gave no one the power to deny themselves of the right.
The Head of Public Relations and Communications at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mrs Comfort Akosua Edu, told the radioxyzonline that what happened was an abuse of the human rights of the two young persons.
She, however, added that the commission was ready and waiting for anyone to make a formal complaint for it to initiate investigations into the matter.
The position of CHRAJ on the matter is predicated on the Supreme Court case involving it and Dr Richard Anane in 2007 where the court ruled that the CHRAJ could not on its own volition initiate action but that a complaint ought to be brought to it by someone.