Judge sends Christian litigants home to pray
Ashaiman Circuit Court Judge, Gabriel Mante-Teye on Thursday admonished two parties in a land litigation case to go read their Bible, pray and settle their differences peacefully
expects them to return to the court on October 22, with the good news that brotherly love has overcome the seeming enmity spiralling out of a dispute over a common land boundary.
"Go and read 1 Timothy Chapter 6 verse 7 to 10 and pray over it", he admonished the parties after counsel for both complainant and defendant in an interlocutory criminal case, as well as the police prosecution, had unanimously agreed to an out of court settlement.
The dispute involved the Christ Embassy church at Nungua near and the Believers’ Salvation Ministry at Ashaiman over a parcel of land at Community 22 Annex in Tema.
Out of the disagreements, members of Believers’ Salvation Ministry have lodged a complaint of assault and threat of death against their counterparts at Christ Embassy, including its head pastor, Ernest Omoleme, whom the court had placed in custody to produce a member of his church alleged to have assaulted the secretary of Believers’ Salvation Ministry, to assist in investigations.
While Pastor Ernest Omoleme denies the accusation against him, he also denies that any member of his church assaulted the complainant.
But on Thursday, when the case was called and the parties announced their presence in court, all the air of resentment gave way to cooperation.
First to speak was D.K. Nyamekor, lead counsel for Pastor Ernest Omoleme and the Christ Embassy who announced that he had come to court in high spirits and could see Judge Mante-Teye was in a similar mood.
He said the matter was between two churches and that litigation was never going to serve God's purposes. He, therefore, prayed for bail and promised to take serious steps to mediate the matter, pointing out that the two churches share a boundary and will live next to each other for a very long time hence the need to resolve peacefully.
Counsel for the complainants, Edwin Kusi-Appiah agreed with the submission and said the offence was a bailable one and that the boundary dispute needed to be settled in a short time. Prosecutor Inspector Nunoo-Mensah similarly did not oppose bail.
Judge Gabriel Mante-Teye then readily granted bail of GH¢5,000 with one surety to be justified. The surety was to produce two passport photographs and stand ready to produce Pastor Omoleme on demand.
He said given the spirit of reconciliation that had attended the submissions, the parties should be able to resolve the matter and report back on October 22.
He, however, counselled that the parties should make the effort to find time to meet and resolve the matter, as often times parties when given such opportunities wait until the time is up and thus fail.
Judge Mante-Teye also prayed that they find common grounds, saying as Christians they cannot allow the devil to ruin them. "Go and read 1 Timothy Chapter 6 verse 7 to 10 and pray over it. You will know that you brought nothing into this world and will take nothing away. Go in peace and settle your differences."