The police have opened investigations into a land dispute that allegedly resulted in the burning down of the Believers House of Worship Church at Okpoi Gonno, near Teshie in Accra.
A day after the act, the police invited the feuding parties as they seek to unravel the cause and identify the perpetrators of the crime that reduced some of the church’s property to ashes
The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Mr Kwame Danso, told the Daily Graphic that preliminary investigations had established that the land on which the church was built was under litigation.
“Our investigations disclose that the land on which the church is cited is the subject of investigations between the church and another party and so the Accra Regional Police Command has summoned all parties in the dispute to report for further investigations,” he said.
While he could not state when the litigation started, he said it had been going on for some time now.
He said the police had not locked up the church but was keeping an eye on the area to prevent a recurrence of the incident and any other form of trouble.
Unknown assailants, armed with guns and machetes, last Monday set fire to the church, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of chairs and electrical gadgets, including television sets and musical instruments.
The church, according to reports, was in a legal battle with a woman who claimed ownership of the land.
Two factions are in battle over the ownership of the land but one of them is alleged to have sold the land to the church.
Church in court
The Head Pastor of the church, Rev. Abraham Lamptey, was reported to have said that the church was summoned to court over a suit challenging the ownership of the land about seven months ago.
Two days after the arson incident, the church is counting its losses.
Rev. Lamptey, unfazed by the incident, said: “What does not break you strengthens you and so the incident has rather made us strong and we are marching forward. So it’s a wonderful moment.
“I don’t think it is about letting go off the land. I believe it is somebody who is not okay with something. I don’t want to speculate, but everything that has a beginning has an end and we are pursuing it legally and the outcome will settle everything.
“I don’t want to sound as though whoever took us to court is responsible. I want the police to do their job.”
With the church reportedly having come under a similar attack in the past, its members have sworn to protect their property against any group.
Addressing a press conference, Rev. Lamptey urged the members of the church to be cautious in dealing with what he described as radicalism.
“They are just being radical and we need to be very cautious but bold,” he said.
He called for a united front among members, saying: “What has happened to me can happen to anybody here because radicalism and vandalism have no political colouration.”
According to him, although the country had a large Christian population, there was no unity among the faithful.