New Telegraph

Pastor defiles member’s teenage daughter for five years

Victim: He took me to different hotels

Police have arrested and arraigned a pastor for allegedly defiling his church member’s daughter at the Mafoluku area of Oshodi, Lagos State. The pastor, Douglas, who presides over Peculiar Church, Oshodi, was arrested earlier this year. The victim and her family have been attending the church in the last 13 years. It was alleged that the pastor had been violating the girl in the past five years. When this was discovered, her parents described the cleric’s action as “a betrayal of trust”. It was discovered that the victim’s parents, over the years, have been financially supporting the pastor in different ways.

The girl was rescued by the Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network (ACVPN), while Douglas was handed over to the police. But before the pastor could be arrested, it was a tug-of-war. During investigation, it was discovered that the victim’s parents bought him two cars and repeatedly paid his children’s school fees. The co-founder of ACVPN, Ebenezer Mr. M. Omejalile, said the victim’s father was living in Europe, while the mother was a trader. He said: “Pastor Douglas took undue advantage of the girl. We have the girl’s video statement; she was almost running into depression and attempted to commit suicide sometime in April this year. Pastor Douglas used to monitor the mother and whenever he noticed that nobody is at home, he would go there to molest her.

He also gave her false prophecies, with which he used to threaten her, that she shouldn’t tell anyone and even if she does, that nobody would believe her. “He told her that nobody would believe her because they all saw him as ‘daddy.’ He used to take the girl to different hotels in Ikeja and Egbeda.” The victim also told social workers that whenever they got to those hotels, the pastor would remove the church sticker on his car’s windscreen. Omejalile said: “He didn’t want people to know that he’s a pastor. The mother noticed that the girl suddenly became rebellious and withdrawn.

The parents became frightened. They didn’t know what was happening, but they noticed she was changing. The girl threatened to kill herself and opened up to her mum, revealing what the pastor had been doing to her.” When the mother heard her daughter’s revelation, she was shocked and went to confront the pastor. She also reported the matter at the Makinde Police Station, Mafuloko, Oshodi. The pastor was invited by the police and for three months he didn’t honour the invitation. He repeatedly made excuses on why he couldn’t go to the station. Omejalile said: “He said that he was on the mountain, performing a special prayer. Before one could say jack, he ran to Zone II Police, Onikan, to lodge a complaint. Zone II has no capacity to handle a sexual abuse case.

It is still battling with banditry, robberies and fraud related issues. Rape cases are out of their hands. “We also know from our experiences in the past that the perpetrator running to Zone II, meant he was trying to truncate justice. This was exactly what Douglas did. When they invited him, we heard.

We had to inform the Force Headquarters about what Pastor Douglas did. He never appeared at Makinde Police Station, rather his wife wrote a petition against the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Makinde Police Station and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), alleging harassment.

The matter was thereafter moved back to Makinde Police Station, from Zone II, and then charged to court. The pastor was remanded. “Before he was eventually remanded, he didn’t plead guilty, rather he was trying to make defense that the girl was not actually 17 years old, but 20 years old. He was stating it as if he was the girl’s father. “The incident is a lesson; people should draw a line, set boundaries for such people because there was no boundary set. He felt he knew the family and could stifle and oppress the family, but thank God for ACVPN for its resilience and determination that justice must be served, irrespective of status and age.”

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