Lighthouse witness tells the court, "The Fourth Estate wrote to us, but we refused to respond."

Mrs Beauty


A bishop of Lighthouse Chapel International has acknowledged that The Fourth Estate's request for a response prior to publishing the "Darkness in the Lighthouse" series was met with a "refusal" from the church. Six disgruntled former Lighthouse pastors made allegations of economic exploitation and psychological abuse in the series. 

Bishop Marcel Aboagye claimed that the church ignored the media because it suspected "collusion" between The Fourth Estate and the lawyer for the six former pastors, Kofi Bentil, while being cross-examined on Tuesday in the church's defamation case against The Fourth Estate.

“We suspected there was collusion between the defendants [The Fourth Estate] and the former pastors, Kofi Bentil. He explained to the court, "We thought a response to the letter would mean giving away the potential defense to an imminent suit."

 According to Bishop Aboagye, he had a personal phone conversation with Mr. Bentil about the complaints of the former pastors a few days before the church received The Fourth Estate's letter requesting a response.

He asserted that Mr. Bentil warned the church that "if we don’t respond to his oral complaint, he was on the verge of filing suits on behalf of the former pastors" despite his refusal to write the church a formal letter.

The church's underpayment of their salaries, its failure to pay their social security contributions, and psychological abuses were among the many things the former pastors had a problem with.

The attempt by the Fourth Estate to obtain the church's side of the story was unsuccessful. Before the story was published, the Fourth Estate also sought assistance from a prominent charismatic leader to get Lighthouse Chapel to respond. However, the church declined.

However, Bishop Aboagye, a lawyer and Director of Crusade of Lighthouse, claimed that after meeting Mr. Bentil, he sent him messages anticipating a phone call that Mr. Bentil had promised, but he did not call.

He stated that "the defendants [The Fourth Estate] rather wrote to us detailing almost all the grievances my colleague lawyer Kofi Bentil had told me against the plaintiff [Lighthouse]" three or four days later.

He went on to say: The letter's language gave the impression that the defendants—The Fourth Estate—were actually listening in on our phone call with Kofi Bentil. I reported to the plaintiffs, Lighthouse, Kofi Bentil's ominous words that, "it will be electrifying" if we don't get back to him and the suit hits the media. Lord, the plaintiffs' refusal to respond to the defendant's letter occurred in light of this circumstance.

Samson Lardi Anyenini, The Fourth Estate's attorney, inquired if the church's failure to provide an explanation stemmed from that suspicion.

The writs were issued on April 19th. Until Monday, we were not served throughout the week. He stated, "It is clear from references to the suit in the publication that the defendants, despite not being parties to the suit, had access to the suit long before we got them."

Although Bishop Aboagye acknowledged that The Fourth Estate's account of the eight reasons the church gave for not paying Bishop Larry Odonkor's SSNIT contribution was accurate, he stated that the entire letter was not published. He added that The Fourth Estate proceeded to "bastardize" the church in the following section of the story after publishing the church's explanations for not paying Larry Odonkor's pension contribution at a particular time.

You stated in your testimony that the "defendants proceeded to [bastardize] the plaintiff [Lighthouse]" in the paragraph titled "inconsistencies" and in response to the church's response. "Please refer the court to your claim," Mr. Anyenini requested.

After reading The Fourth Estate's report from the court document, Bishop Aboagye said, "My Lord, first of all, the use of the word 'inconsistencies'." "There appear to be some inconsistencies in the response from the church when held against some documents of the church, as well as the treatment of Bishop Oko Mensah and others in similar situations," the publication continues. The UD-OGLC maintains that Larry Odonkor was not eligible for SSNIT because he was a volunteer; however, the church's Bishops Governing Handbook states that full-time ministers, even those who work as "interns," are entitled to "monthly social security payments also made on their behalf."


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