Court Stops Pastor Ransford Obeng

A Sunyani High Court has once again dismissed an application filed by the Founder and Senior Pastor of Calvary Charismatic Centre (CCC), Pastor Ransford Obeng, seeking to amend his statement of defence in a case brought against him by a former member of the church. Justice John Bosco Nabarese, in his ruling on November 10, 2014, dismissed Pastor Obeng’s application for leave to amend his statement of defence on the grounds that it would reconstruct or alter the character of the respondent’s case and also prejudice the substantive case if allowed by the court. The CCC spiritual head and his board of trustees have been jointly and severally sued by a former administrator of the Sunyani branch of the church, Edward Sencherey, who was said to have been wrongfully and verbally dismissed by Pastor Obeng. The judge stated in his ruling that the amendment being sought by Pastor Obeng was irrelevant as the facts which the applicants were seeking to plead had in one form or the other been pleaded already. Dismissing it, Justice Nabarese said, “I will not allow the applicants to set up an entirely new case or completely change the nature of the respondent’s case. The application for amendment by the applicants has been brought in bad faith.” He awarded a cost of GH¢600 against the applicants. The applicants, in their application, argued that since the CCC is a company limited by guarantee, the institution of proceedings against the applicants rather than the CCC itself and the second applicant [Pastor Obeng] in his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of the CCC was bad. The applicants stated that their earlier pleadings contained irrelevant matters for purposes of determining the real issues in dispute and that if their application was not granted there was the likelihood of a multiplicity of suits and questions of enforcement after the determination of the present suit by the court. However, counsel for the respondent, lawyer Williams Orleans Oduro, who opposed the motion, expressed surprise that CCC, which has been in existence since 1993, was now producing a certificate to commence business with the directors being the second applicant and his wife. Mr Oduro further averred that the applicants were trying to set up a new case for the benefit of the second applicant and that it will jeopardize the respondent’s case in no uncertain terms. He said that injustice would be occasioned if the court granted the motion. It would be recalled that the court on May 15, 2014 struck out a similar application filed by Pastor Obeng seeking for an order non-suiting him as a party in the pending suit. Mr. Sencherey was said to have been dismissed verbally by Pastor Obeng on January 12, 2014 when he visited the church in Sunyani. Mr. Sencherey was allegedly removed from the office and prevented from taking his personal belongings, including money and documents. He is therefore seeking, among other reliefs, general damages against the church for his wrongful dismissal and a declaration that the verbal dismissal is ‘unjust, illegal and unmerited with regards to all circumstances surrounding the church in recent days.’ He is also praying the court to award general damages against the CCC for the unlawful seizure of his personal bag containing his valuable documents and money.