An Aba South Senior Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday remanded 60-year-old Chukwuemeka Orji at the Correctional Centre over the alleged rape of a minor.
Orji, a Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church, Ukonu Street, off Ngwa Road, Aba, is facing a one-count charge of serially raping a 13-year-old girl that lived with him.
The rape survivor (name withheld) told the court that the defendant had carnal knowledge of her on many occasions.
She said that after Orji’s third-time rape, she told his wife, Mercy, who reportedly confronted him over the allegation.
The survivor claimed that the pastor denied the allegation before his wife.
She said that Orji, however, continued to rape her and threatened to send her back to her parents in the village in Ugwunagbo should she expose him.
She said that the threat deterred her from telling her parents, who worship in another branch of the church, about what she was passing through.
She further said that on Thursday, June 15, after Orji’s wife had gone to market, he asked her for sex, but she refused on the ground that she was menstruating.
She said that Orji, however, forced her to suck his manhood, an act she described as nauseating to her.
She said that because she could not satisfy him, he ordered her to cut the overgrown grass in their compound “as a punishment”.
She said that after the June 15 act, she went to school crying.
“It was while I was crying that my school proprietor inquired as to why I was crying and I told him the truth.
She said that it was at that point that the police were invited into the matter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Orji pleaded not guilty after the charge was read to him.
After presenting his own version of the story, the Magistrate, Mrs Jane Young-Daniel, called Orji’s wife on cellphone, asking if she was aware of the allegation against her husband.
It was learnt that Mercy initially denied being aware of the allegation but later admitted that she heard it and confronted her husband, who she said denied the allegation.
The police prosecutor, Mrs Mary Udoji, urged the court not to admit the defendant on bail in order to prevent him from further molesting the girl.
Young-Daniel 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.
She also ordered that Orji be remanded at the Aba Correctional Centre.
She adjourned the matter to the 6 and 18 of July for a hearing.