Ghana: Akaboha Loses Appeal, Faces Expulsion as Leader of Church

Mozano, Ghana - The Court of Appeal has unanimously endorsed the removal of Prophet Miritaiah Jehu-Appiah as Akaboha, leader and spiritual head of the Muzama Disco Christo Church in Mozano, near Gomoa Eshiem in the Central Region as lawful.

According to the court, evidence of record clearly warranted Prophet Miritaiah Jehu-Appiah to be sanctioned in accordance with the constitution of the church, noting that his appeal against his dismissal was of no merit.

The court, presided over by Justice F. Kusi-Appiah on March 26, 2009, dismissed an appeal filed by Prophet Miritaiah against the decision of the High Court, removing him as the spiritual head of the church, thereby affirming the findings of the High court.

"I am satisfied that the findings of the trial Judge were clearly supported by the evidence on the record, with no serious blunder on the part of the trial judge," Justice Kusi-Appiah emphasized.

Other members of the panel include Justices A. Asare Korang and Victor D. Ofoe.

The court's decision came on the heels of a High Court judgment asserting to the dismissal of Prophet Miritaiah Jehu-Appiah as Akaboha III and leader of the church by the council of Elders and Apakanhenfo, the Mozano Oman and the Diocesan Ministries, District Pastors and Finusifim Band with the approval of L'odomey General Conference of the Muzama Disco Christo Church.

The Church's pronouncement came as a result the prophet's sexual escapade with members of the church as the former initiated a writ seeking an endorsement to its decision to expel Prophet Miritaiah Jehu-Appiah as Akaboha III, of the Muzama Disto Christo Church.

In its ruling, the court noted that it was within the dictates of the Constitution of the church for the Executive council of the church to expel Prophet Miritaiah as the leader of the church as it frowns against illicit sexual affairs by any of its members as well as leaders of the church.

It was the view of the church that the constitution of the church does not make any member a life-leader, emphasizing that if anybody goes contrary to the constitution of the church, the person loses his or her membership and position in the church.

"There is no express provision in the constitution of the plaintiff church that those officers cannot be dismissed or expelled from the church, when they violate the constitution of the church," the court stressed.

The court further discounted the notion that the attainment of leadership in the church was a life-time position, noting that the position of Akaboha under the constitution of the church depicted that the chairman, being the Akaboha, presides as chairman for life when the church meets at its Annual General Meeting.

"I hold that the Defendant can be dismissed or expelled from the plaintiff church if he violates Article 10 (d)(1) of the constitution irrespective of his status, position or rank in the church," the court held.

Additionally, the court rejected the argument of the appellant (Prophet Miritaiah) that he was not given hearing by the investigative committee set up by the church council to probe the illicit sexual affair leveled against him.

The court indicated that there was over whelming evidence before the court that an opportunity was granted the appellant but he refused to co-operate with the committee handling the issue within the church. "It is therefore late in the day for the Defendant to complain that he was not given fair hearing by the investigating committee," the court intimated.

Meanwhile, The Chronicle learnt that Prophet Dr. Miritaiah Jona Jehu-Appiah is heading to the Supreme Court to quash the decision of the Court of Appeal endorsing the judgment of the High Court and be re-instated as Akaboha III of the Muzama Disco Christo Church.

The church initiated a suit at the High court against Prophet Dr. Miritaiah Jona Jehu-Appiah, when he refused to vacate his post as leader of the church after the church had made adverse findings of immoral behaviour against him.

With the help of some members of the church, Akaboha III continued to act despite the termination of his appointment by the executive council of the church.

The Muzama Disco Christo Church was founded in 1922 by Joseph William Egyanka Appiah, who was re-christened Prophet Jemisimiham Jehu-Appiah on August 24, 1924, with the title Akaboha (king).

The church was built on a strong foundation, as a result of which the church was confident that the memory of the founder will serve as lasting inspiration to all members. After the death of the founder on September 23, 1948, he was succeeded by his son, Prophet Dr. Mathapoly Moses Jehu-Appiah, Akaboha II.

Akaboha II presided over the church at the time when there was no formal constitution until 1959. He ruled the church for twenty-four years, developed and spread the church all over the country and overseas and died on August 28, 1972.

This brought Prophet Dr. Miritaiah Jona Jehu-Appiah to inherit his father in October, 1972, as Akaboha III and General Head Prophet of the church.

Akaboha III took over the reins of the spiritual and administrative governance of the church from then until November 2002, when an incident involving Maame Esi, a 17-year old J.S.S. girl came up.

The incident was captured by a tabloid newspaper giving details of how Akaboha III lured the girl into his house, drugged her and had sex with her around April 1998.

The executive council of the church did not take kindly to the affair as it sanctioned Akaboha III with a suspension from the church to enable an investigation to be conducted into the alleged moral misconduct of the leader of the church by a 15-member committee.

The findings of the committee later indicated that Akaboha III had not curbed his sexual transgressions as he was said to have defiled five more teenage girls and fathered a-3-month old baby as a result.

The Executive council of the church then terminated the appointment of the leader of the church and expelled him from the church, when the latter failed to respond to the findings of the interim committee against him on his disgusting sexual affairs.