The Supreme Court has in a landmark ruling affirmed Opanin Elia Asirifi Dadeako as the Leader and Spiritual Head of Saviour Church of Ghana and that there’s only one church in Ghana duly registered with that name.
The apex court in a review judgment overturned an earlier ruling that confirmed Opanyin Abraham Kwaku Adusei as the leader of the Saviour Church at Osiem in the Eastern Region.
This was in a four-three majority decision by a seven-member panel of the apex court.
It followed an appeal filed by the plaintiffs, Mr Asante Asirifi Dadeako and two others, who sought to restrain Opanyin Abraham from using the name of the church to do spiritual and religious activities.
The Apex Court in November 2021, in a three-two majority decision by a five-member panel, confirmed the former Council of State member under the erstwhile Mahama administration as the leader of the church.
The ruling followed 24 years of litigation after the death of Isaac Asirifi Asante when some members initiated legal action to restrain Opanyin Adusei as the General Superintendent and from using the name of the church to do spiritual and religious activities.
The plaintiffs alleged the church was incorporated in 2007 as a limited liability company, saying they alone had the legal right to operate with the church’s name.
They added Opanyin Adusei had exceeded his legal mandate and had been using the name of the church wrongly.
In view of this, the panel, presided over by His Lordship, Justice Dotse, ruled that Opanyin Abraham Kwaku Adusei had no right to any branch or property of Saviour Church, hence cannot take custody of its own branches.
The court ordered that the application for review having succeeded, the net effect is that the concurrent judgements of the High Court and Court of Appeal which upheld the applicant’s claims in the name of Saviour Church of Ghana and dismissed the respondent’s counterclaim are hereby restored.
The judgement of the ordinary bench of this court dated 24th November 2021 and the consequential orders emanating therefrom are hereby set aside.
The applicants being a legal entity, duly incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Ghana is entitled to operate in accordance with its regulations or constitution and shall, in consequence, be entitled to acquire, keep or recover any properties belonging to them in the possession of the respondents or any other person.