Rape: Pastor’s counsel stalls court proceedings

Counsel to Pastor Emmanuel Matthew, General Overseer, Choice Bible Church, Mpape, Abuja, who was alleged to have raped minors in his school, Mr. Uy Yamah, stalled proceedings in an FCT High court, Abuja, saying his client was not prepared for the trial.

The counsel to the accused told the court that his client’s office was shut down by the FCT’s Department of Development Control. , and prayed for a short adjournment to enable him to put himself together.

The 52-year- old Mathew, who was alleged to have committed the offence in a school, where he was the proprietor, was arraigned on a six-count charge.

At the continuation of the trial, the counsel to the Attorney-General’s Office, Mr Ejike Orji, applied for the matter to be held at the chambers.

Justice Hussieni Baba-Yusuf granted the request of the counsel and adjourned the matter to July 25, for definite hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Mrs. Jacintha Ejiofor had told the court that her daughter was molested by the pastor in his bedroom on March 12, 2012.

Ejiofor, during examination by the prosecutor, said her child, a pupil in the accused school, was lured into the pastor’s bedroom for unknown reasons.

She alleged that her daughter was lured into the accused room where he laid a white bedspread and a red curtain, after which he inserted his finger into her private part.

She further alleged that the accused also had canal knowledge of her daughter.

According to her, another victim’s mother, along with her pastor, confronted the accused on the same allegation but was asked to return the next day for settlement.

She alleged that the victim’s mother and her pastor were arrested by the police upon their return, adding that the accused later reported the matter at the Mpape Police Station.

She said that she and her daughter were later arrested by two police men from the station.

Ejiofor said the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) interrogated her daughter upon their arrival at the station.

“My daughter narrated all she had told me to the police and they asked the three girls to describe the accused person’s bedroom.

“They mentioned seven items and when the police got to the accused house, they confirmed five, with two other items the white bedspread and the red curtain missing,” she said

She added that the DPO ordered a medical test to be conducted on the girls and the accused person at the Asokoro General Hospital.

According to her, the result of the test confirmed that the girls where no longer virgins.

NAN also recalls that the police prosecutor, DSP Stanley Nwodo, told the court that the accused allegedly raped two seven-year-old girls and a nine-year-old pupil on different occasions in his school.

The offence, Nwodo said, contravened the provisions of Section 283 of the Penal code and if convicted, he would be liable to 14 years imprisonment, with an option of fine or both.

Mathew had pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge. (NAN)

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