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Lighthouse Chapel case: Witness testifies against Manasseh Azure Awuni and others in defamation suit

April 12, 2024
Manasseh Azure

During proceedings at an High Court, a witness testified that investigative journalist Awuni and four others lacked evidence to support their publications against International (LCI) and its founder.

In a defamation suit filed against Awuni, the Media Foundation for , its Director Sulemana Briamah, and co-editor Edwin Appiah, a witness from LCI, Mr. Marcel Aboagye, asserted that the defendants failed to provide any evidence to substantiate defamatory allegations made against LCI in their articles titled “Darkness in a Lighthouse.”

Mr. Aboagye informed the court that the defendants' articles alleged that LCI owed former church pastors over 42 years of Social Security and National Insurance Trust () contributions. However, he referenced an SSNIT investigative report dated August 20, 2021, which cleared LCI of these allegations.

The witness emphasized that the defendants presented no evidence to support claims that LCI owed SSNIT contributions to former pastors. He also disputed allegations that LCI exploited former pastors to build worship centres and schools with their personal resources, stating that the structures were built with 's own resources.

Referring to specific pastors mentioned in the articles, Mr. Aboagye clarified that buildings attributed to pastors' personal finances were constructed by the church long after those pastors had left their respective missions.

Furthermore, the witness refuted claims that one former pastor, Seth Duncan, attempted suicide due to mistreatment by the church. He asserted that LCI never mistreated Seth Duncan and that his suicide attempts were unrelated to his association with the church.

Mr. Aboagye accused the defendants of forming an “unholy alliance” with former pastors and publishing defamatory articles out of malice.

The court adjourned the matter to May 13, 2024, for further proceedings.

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