Prophet Wisdom Okoronkwo of Fountain of Liberation Church has been arrested by Police for allegedly defiling a 14-year-old girl in the Ikotun area of Lagos state.
It was gathered that the victim was living with the pastor on the instructions of her mother, who is a member of the church.
The victim’s uncle, who identified himself simply as Philip, said after she informed him of the incident, he reported the case to a non-governmental organisation, the Esther Child Rights, in Ikotun.
“I was in my shop on May 7, 2021, when I saw my niece crying. A motorcyclist, who is well known to me, brought her to my shop and the man told me that when she asked him to take her to a pharmacy, he conveyed her to my shop to prevent her from indulging in self-medication.
“When I asked my niece what happened, she said the prophet had been sexually abusing her and threatened her not to tell anyone. I observed that she had been severely beaten as she was crying profusely. She also reported the case to my elder brother and sister,” he said.
The victim told The PUNCH that her mother forced her to live with the pastor, whom she alleged started sexually abusing her two weeks after she moved in with him.
“I met the prophet on June 1, 2020, he had a brief conversation with my mother and I didn’t know what it was about. Three days after, the prophet asked if I’d like to live with him and I told him that I would think about it. My mother pleaded with me to live with him and I accepted.
“After living with him for two weeks, he woke me up in the middle of the night and began to plead with me to allow him to have sex with me, but I refused. Suddenly, he forced himself on me and sexually abused me and that was how it started. The prophet told me that I would run mad if I ever tell anyone; so, I was scared to tell my mum about it.
“But I told Ugo, the son of my mum’s friend; I also told my mum’s sister and her fiancé, who is the assistant pastor of the church, and they believed me. When the prophet found out, he denied it. When he got home, he threatened me to recant my statements else he would mercilessly beat me, but I refused,” she said.
The victim’s mother, Chinyere, said her daughter was framing the prophet, adding that she instructed her to live with him, because she was troublesome.
She said “My children are too troublesome. The prophet helps me caution them from being wayward. On Friday, I called the prophet, because my daughter returned late from school, without her school bag.
“So, I took her to the prophet’s house, where he questioned her. The pastor used a horse whip to threaten her, but she didn’t say anything. I got angry and poured pepper in her eyes.
“I later paid a motorcyclist to take her back to the shop, but my daughter changed the direction and told the man to take her to a pharmacy. My daughter is a wayward girl and a liar. She is framing the pastor.”
According to a representative of the NGO, Esther Ogwu, the prophet was detained at the command headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos.
Ogwu added that a medical test would be conducted on the victim at the Mirabel Centre.
When contacted the state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said a message had been sent to the gender unit of the command.