A 60-year-old Pastor Chukwuemeka Orji of the Assemblies of God Church, Ukonu Street, off Ngwa Road, Aba in Abia State has been ordered by the magistrate court sitting in Aba, to be remanded at the Correctional Centre over the alleged rape of a minor.
Penpushing reports that the clergyman is facing a one-count charge of serially raping a 13-year-old girl that lived with him, just as the rape survivor (name withheld) told the court that the defendant had carnal knowledge of her several times.
The victim said that after the cleric raped her the third time, she told his wife, Mercy, who reportedly confronted him over the allegation, but that he(Orji) denied the allegation before his wife, adding that the defendant, however, continued to rape her.
Penpushing further reports that the victim told the court that the pastor threatened to send her back to her parents in the village in Ugwunagbo, should she expose him, stating that the threat, deterred her from reporting to her parents, who worship in another branch of the church.
The victim disclosed that on Thursday, 15 June, 2023 after the pastor’s wife had gone to market, the pastor asked her for sex but she refused because she was menstruating, adding that he (pastor) however, forced her to suck his private part, an act she described as nauseating to her.
Penpushing also reports that she said that because she could not satisfy him, he (pastor) ordered her to cut the overgrown grass in their compound as a punishment, explaining that after the 15 June incident, she went to school crying.
The innocent girl told the court that it was while she was crying that the school proprietor inquired as to know why she was crying and she told him the truth, and subsequently the school proprietor invited the police into the matter.
Penpushing reports that the pastor, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge, and after presenting his own version of the story, the Magistrate, Justice Jane Young-Daniel, called the defendant’s wife on the phone, and asked her if she was aware of the allegation against her husband.
The wife was said to have initially denied being aware of the allegation, but later admitted that she heard it and confronted her husband who, she said, denied the allegation, while the police prosecutor, Mary Udoji, urged the court not to admit the defendant on bail in order to prevent him from further molesting the girl.
Penpushing further reports that the judge, thereafter ordered that the girl be returned to her parents immediately, after she was told that she had since been in the custody of the police, and equally ordered that the pastor be remanded at the Aba Correctional Centre, while the case was adjourned to 6 and 18 July 2023 for hearing.
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