The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has arrested a 48–year-old pastor in Abuja for alleged rape and sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old orphan.
NAPTIP’s Head, Press, and Public Relations Unit, Stella Nezan, said in Abuja.
Nezan alleged that the suspect, a pastor in the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Church (MFM), Gwarimpa branch, had also impregnated the teenager.
She said that the suspect, who is from Nsukka in Enugu State volunteered to provide shelter for the girl and deliver her from evil spirit after she had been accused of witchcraft, took advantage of the situation.
Nezan said that the victim, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) student in Abuja had lived with the pastor, a widower, and his daughter for sometimes before the sexual exploitation started.
The suspect was said to have confessed to committing the crimes “only twice” and blamed it on the devil.
“The victim, a JSS2 student of one of the government schools in Abuja, suddenly dropped out of school and was in dire need of accommodation shortly after the death of her parents in 2018.
“Investigation revealed that the pastor was living with his daughter in the same compound with the victim’s deceased parents in Karmo, a suburb of Abuja, and volunteered to assist her in her education.
“According to the victim, after the first year of their living together, the pastor started making love advances toward her, an action she constantly resisted.
“She narrated that the first time the pastor raped her was in March, after her birthday outing,” Nezan said.
She added that the pastor continued to rape her afterwards and it resulted in pregnancy.
“During interrogation, the pastor confessed to sexually abusing the girl only twice and attributing the evil act to the devil,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Director General of NAPTIP, Ms. Julie Okah-Donli, has described the action of the suspect as the highest form of wickedness against a fellow human being.
Okah-Donli promised that the case would be diligently prosecuted in order to secure justice for the victim.
But ‘The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM)’ has disowned David Onyekachukwu who claimed to be a pastor in their Life Camp branch, Abuja.
A statement by the Church’s spokesman, Collins Edomaruse said David had never been a pastor, even as he was given indefinite suspicion in line with the rules and regulations of MFM which forbid such acts and frown at them.
The statement said that David’s indefinite suspension is a result of an investigation carried out by the Church which established that he was culpable of the reported offence of rape, resulting in the pregnancy of the female teenager.
Confirming the incident, Regional Overseer (RO) Gwarimpa region of the church, Pastor Babalola Niyi, said: “he (David) is not an ordained pastor in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries.
“He is just a member/worker in that Life Camp branch and he has been suspended from the branch immediately.
“The church cannot stop the law from taking its course as doing so will amount to condoning evil and being an accessory after the fact.
“After investigation, we confirm that the raping and impregnating of the girl is true and the matter is currently being handled by the Police.
“However, we want to say that the alleged person is not an ordained Pastor or an officially appointed Pastor in MFM Gwarimpa Region. This is therefore a personal issue between the Brother and the innocent victim.
“It has nothing to do with Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries.
“In MFM, the leadership does not condone indiscipline.
“Absolute holiness within and without is our hallmark in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries.
“This is of a priority in all our trainings and teachings to our Pastors and members.
“The alleged brother is already in the Custody of the Police to allow the law to take its course.”