Published On: Wed, Jun 26th, 2019

Pastor jailed 7 years for raping 14-year old girl

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Justice Hussain Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, has convicted Apostle Basil Princewill, for raping a 14-year old girl, name withheld.
The senior pastor of the Founder and General Overseer of Mountain Mover Fire Ministry of International, Nyanya Abuja, was convicted on counts one and three but was discharged on counts two and four.
The court, in its decision, held that ‘’it is bad for a person to indulge in this kind of devilish act.
‘’Those who are supposed to be men of God are expected to be highly religious, exhibit decency and act as role models to their followers.
‘’Considering the interest of the girl, the interest of the public and the rising cases of rape in the Church by those who serve in the Lord’s vineyard, the court has duty to send signal to the public to serve as deterrent to others.
Justice Baba Yusuf said the behaviour of the pastor was ‘’despicable, shameful, degrading and satanic’’.
‘’By this conduct, the accused deserves to be taken to prison wall like a monastery until he changes to a better man of God.
‘’It is more worrisome especially when a person in question is looked up to as a man of God,’’ the judge held.
Consequently, the court sentenced Apostle Princewill to 7 years imprisonment for raping and defiling a 14 year girl (Favour) and 5 years sentence for attempting to abort the resultant pregnancy.
According to the charge sheet, count one bordered on rape while count three was on allegation of attempting to cause miscarriage on the girl, by giving her drugs to take in order to abort the resultant pregnancy.
The incident took place on July 27, 2011 to 31st December 2011 and the convict was arraigned by an amended charge on dates 22nd September 2017.
Reading out the court decision, Justice Baba Yusuf, said that from the evidence of PW1 (the victim’s Mother); that of PW2 (the victim) and the PW3 (Dr Ogunlade Felix), the accused perpetrated the act of rape ‘’under the pretense of carrying out deliverance and cleansing on the girl on July 27, 2011.
He maintained that the evidence of PW1, PW2 and PW3 because, ‘’the PW2 was very detailed on what happened to her in the accused pastor’s office and same evidence was corroborated by PW1 and PW2.
‘’I am impressed by the testimonies of PW1 and PW2; I believe PW2’s story of how the accused rapes her.
‘’The accused did not deny the fact that he invited the 14-year girl to his office for deliverance and cleansing and the fact that he gave postnor to the girl to take, the court said.
Further in his ruling, the Judge held ‘’I believe PW2 that on July 27, 2011, the Apostle in the guise of deliverance, took advantage of the girl by having sex with her.
The court noted that the act of ‘’slapping the girl constitutes act of threat to hurt her, adding that the fact that the accused took Favour to Fountain Head Medical Centre Nyanya was an indication that he knew something about the pregnancy.
Moreover, the court said it did not believe the testimony of the accused, stressing that apart from being full of contradiction, it was different from the testimony he gave at NAPTIP.
‘’I find it difficult to believe the accuse person’s incoherency, riddle puzzled testimony.
‘’Evidence of PW1 about what PW2 told her is direct and positive evidence, and not hearsay.
‘’Defence of the accused is not tenable and is therefore rejected. Prove of case of rape against the accused is sustained, the court held.

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