Court remands pastor for alleged rape of minor


In the Aba South Senior Magistrate’s Court, a 60-year-old pastor named Chukwuemeka Orji was remanded in the Correctional Centre following allegations of repeatedly raping a 13-year-old girl. The victim, who resided with Mr. Orji, disclosed that she informed his wife, Mercy, after he had raped her for the third time. The survivor stated that the pastor denied the allegations in front of his wife but continued to sexually assault her, using threats of sending her back to her village in Ugwunagbo as a means of silencing her. Fearing the repercussions, she refrained from confiding in her parents, who attended a different branch of the Assemblies of God Church. On June 15, when Mr. Orji’s wife was absent, he demanded sexual favors from her, but she refused due to menstruation. Nevertheless, he forced her to engage in a repulsive act, causing her distress. As a form of punishment, he instructed her to cut the overgrown grass in their compound. After crying at school, the survivor confided in the school proprietor, leading to police involvement. Mr. Orji pleaded not guilty, and the magistrate, Jane Young-Daniel, contacted his wife, who initially denied knowledge of the allegations but later admitted to confronting her husband, who maintained his innocence. The police prosecutor, Mary Udoji, requested that the defendant be denied bail to prevent further harm to the girl. Ms. Young-Daniel ordered the immediate return of the girl to her parents, as she had been in police custody. She further ordered the remand of Mr. Orji at the Aba Correctional Centre, setting the hearing dates for July 6th and 18th. The survivor testified that the defendant had sexually abused her on multiple occasions.

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