In a shocking incident in the Akuapem North Municipality, Reverend Benjamin Acheampong, Head Pastor of the Adonai Revival Church, was brutally attacked on his farmland in Bewase, Akuapem.
According to sources, the incident resulted in the arrest of nine individuals who were subsequently granted bail.
Rev. Acheampong had purchased the land to establish a retreat centre for his church, but also cultivated crops such as corn, cassava, and coconut on the property to prevent encroachment.
However, trouble arose when a man approached him on the farm and claimed ownership of a portion of the pastor’s land.
The pastor, hoping to resolve the dispute amicably, contacted his land lessor; a Chief (The Bamuhene of the Akuapem Traditional Council) to be present to respond to the man’s claim.
Despite this intervention, tensions escalated, prompting the chief to send a representative to mediate the situation in his absence.
According to reports, the situation took a dangerous turn when the other party threatened the pastor’s life, demanding he vacates the piece of land despite the pastor’s suggestion that since he purchased it from the lessor, the lessor should be present to respond to the claims.
“He had initially threatened me and told me if I didn’t want anything to happen to my life, I should leave the land,” the victim said.
In spite of his attempts to calm the situation, the other party left the scene and, unknowing to the pastor, went to the community to mobilise some people to attack the pastor.
Rev. Acheampong, upon seeing the mob and fearing for his life, tried to flee but was pursued and assaulted by a group of individuals who had planned the attack.
During the ordeal, the attackers accused him of theft.
Miraculously, Rev. Acheampong was rescued by one of his farm workers and taken to a nearby medical centre at Kwamoso.
However, due to the severity of his injuries, he was later transferred to Tetteh Quashie Hospital and subsequently to St. Joseph Hospital in Koforidua, where medical examinations revealed multiple fractures.
In the wake of this horrific incident, Rev. Acheampong, with support from his colleagues and the Chief who sold him the land, reported the attack to the Mamfe Police, providing evidence of his injuries through medical reports.
Additionally, an audio and video recording of the incidence revealed the identities of the attackers, the pastor’s constant plea that his life be spared and the matter discussed whilst he was being attacked.
The police responded swiftly, arresting some 12 individuals involved in the attack, while about six others remain at large.
The arrested individuals were brought before the Mampong Magistrate Court, presided over by Judge Felicia Anane-Antwi.
According to reports, after deliberations, the court granted bail to the accused, each required to provide GHC50,000 with sureties.
Additionally, they are obliged to maintain regular contact with the police.
Their next court appearance is scheduled for the 26th of September.
Rev. Benjamin Acheampong is still responding to treatment after sustaining broken legs and multiple fractures in the ribs.
The shocking incident has drawn attention to the issue of land disputes, lynching and violence in the region, and the legal proceedings that follow are expected to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the attack on Reverend Benjamin Acheampong.
Many innocent persons have died from mob attacks in Ghana, and it is therefore critical that the law takes its course and brings perpetrators to book to curtail such attacks.