Mob Attacks ARS Church Over Office … 29 injured, hall burnt down

The conference hall destroyed by Rev Wovenu and his group at the premises of the ARS church
A MOB believed to have the backing of one faction of the Apostles Revelation Society (ARS),  at Tadzewu, in the Volta Region, last Friday attacked another faction and razed down an office and property running into millions of cedis.

One of the groups, led by the Reverend Apostle Charles Kwame Attipoe, was attacked and an office within the ARS premises they were using was completely destroyed by the mob, believed to have been led by Rev. Etsey Nyenyame Wovenu. In the process, 29 persons  got injured.

The office complex hall used by Rev. Attipoe’s group, also within the church premises, was also burnt down.

When The Ghanaian Times visited the site on Saturday morning, a  plume of smoke was emanating from the burnt down hall, while some destroyed documents littered the place.

The Station Officer of the Tadzewu Police Station, Inspector Sampson Kudalor, who confirmed the incident to  The Ghanaian Times said, the matter was being handled by a team from the Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) while security had also been beefed up, especially, around the church premises,  to protect lives and property.

A spokesperson for Rev. Wove-nu’s group, Rev. Manyetorwo Wornu, who defended his group’s action, said they were merely executing a court order.

According to him, a magistrate court last Thursday (January 9) ordered Rev. Attipoe’s group to stop cutting down trees within the church premises, but they ignored the order and all attempts to get the police to execute the order did not materialise, hence, the need to stop them from what they were doing.

Rev. Wornu stated that the building  which was burnt down  belonged  to the late founder of the church and therefore did not belong to Rev. Attipoe and his group.

He said they demolished the other structures to pave way for a massive infrastructure development towards this year’s Diamond Jubilee celebration.

He alleged that Rev. Attipoe’s group, referred to as the “Apostles” during the time of the late founder, wanted to divide the church, and his group would not allow that to happen.

Rev. Attipoe, for his part, denied that the court asked them to stop work on the project but conceded that they were not to cut down the trees around their project site.

He explained that as a result of the numerous court cases and the confusion,  they decided to have a separate place of worship, hence, the need to construct a permanent shed.

Rev. Attipoe said when the construction work was started, nothing happened until last Friday when Rev. Wovenu brought his children and  some people to beat up those working  there and also demolished the structure that they had erected.

He said he reported  the incident to the Dzodze Police who came to meet the workers being beaten but did nothing about it. That, he said, emboldened  their opponents (the Wovenu Group)  to set the conference hall ablaze .

He said Rev. Wovenu’s group made away with bags of maize, 900 plastic chairs, bags of rice, 30 wooden tables, four office desks, cabinets, sound system, musical instruments, official documents and roofing sheets before setting  the place ablaze.

Members of the Apostle Revelation Society (ARS) have been at each other’s throats since  the demise of their founder and spiritual leader, Mawufeame Wovenu in April 1999.

In September 1999, Rev. James K. Amegah was appointed by his colleagues  as the interim leader.

In 2002, Rev. Amegah’s  administration began  having problems with intermittent clashes and was removed from office in 2003.

The church has since not known any peace with back and forth court cases involving the two groups.  By Lawrence Akplalu,Tadzewu

 

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