Policemen in Anambra State have arrested a middle-aged pastor, popularly called Bro. Solomon, for allegedly defiling a seven-year-old girl in Nodu village, Okpuno, Awka South Local Government Area of the state.
Bro. Solomon was said to be in charge of a prayer ministry where hundreds of worshipers, mostly women, gather to seek solutions to their spiritual, marital and other problems.
It was gathered that the victim was a daughter to one of the members of the ministry, brought by her mother to the church for prayers before she was sexually abused by the suspect.
Confirming the incident yesterday, the Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, said the victim had been taken to the hospital for proper medical attention, while investigation is ongoing.
Umar said: “A little girl who was taken to a pastor for spiritual healing was molested by the same pastor. The man had already been arrested. Anybody who engages in such dastardly act must be dealt with according to the law. We will carry out full investigation into the matter to ensure justice is done.”
The police boss, however, cautioned parents and guardians to be careful of where they take their wards to in search of spiritual solution, warning that some people are wolves in sheep’s clothing, deceiving their members.
He said the suspect was arrested following the alarm raised by residents of the area who became suspicious of his sexual harassments with church members.
Some members of the church and residents in separate interviews told The Guardian that the pastor’s activities became suspicious as a result of several allegations making the rounds against the ‘man of God’. They called on government to investigate the proliferation of prayer ministries across the state in order to put a stop to such incidences
One of the residents, who simply identified himself as Edward, said he was shocked at the arrest of the suspect by the police who took him to his prayer house where all kinds of charms and fetish objects were discovered.
“This man is not a pastor at all. Native doctor is far better than him. See the kind of things discovered in a prayer house,” he said.
Chiamanam Johnson, who claimed to have been an old member of the ministry, expressed disappointment at the event, saying it has exposed the man’s behind the scenes activities. He described the incident as sacrilegious.
Another member of the church, who spoke on grounds of anonymity, said she was attracted to the ministry by the preaching and outstanding miracles being performed by the suspect. “I started attending the ministry because of the miracles and preaching of the pastor. I only come here on Fridays because I still attend my church on Sundays.”
Meanwhile, the police command in Plateau State has arrested three men for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl. Presenting the suspects to newsmen in Jos, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Undie Adie, said the incident took place on January 23 and the case was reported to the Angwan Rogo Division by mother of the victim on January 26. He said the suspects conspired with one, Yahaya, and dragged the girl into his room.