By Evelyn Usman & Ebere Aham
It was a shocking revelation yesterday at the Lagos State Police Command as three teenagers recounted how the General Overseer of Tongue of Fire Ministry, Shogunle, Lagos, Pastor Chukwuma Nkwocha, had been sleeping with them, in exchange for money to pay their school fees.
The girls whose ages are between 12 and 17 years, were among 29 others rescued from the pastor’s house by operatives of the Lagos state Police Command.
Apparently taking advantage of the prevailing economic situation, Nkwocha, who hails from Imo state was alleged to have been sleeping with the girls who are all members of his church, with a promise to feed them and pay for their Junior and Senior Secondary School Certificate examinations.
It was also discovered that the parents of some of the girls had accommodation problems and were temporarily living in the church. One of them who claims to be a student of the Ondo state polytechnic, said any attempt to refuse Nkwocha’s advances could lead to her dropping out of school, a dream she said she had longed to actualise.
But the bubble burst after one of the girls who had a misunderstanding with Pastor Nkwocha,spilled the beans to the Police. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni disclosed that during a raid of the Pastor’s three bedroom flat, 30 girls were rescued, as six of them confessed that the pastir had slept with them without protection.
Mr Owoseni said, “the girls were taken to the Lagos State University Hospital. Some of them were pregnant and aborted the pregnancies. The command will ensure that the Pastor and whoever must have conspired with him face the full wrath of the law”.
According to one of the rescued teenagers, Millicent Chukwu, (13) a Junior Secondary School 3 student “I am a member of the church and my parents attend the church as well. They (parents) took me to the Pastor’s house to spend the holiday with him and his wife. But the wife is in the university. My parents believe he would see vision that would help me to be great in life. I met other girls in his house.
We were 13 girls in the flat. I know he was having sex with some of the girls but I don’t know if they got pregnant or whether he aborted any pregnancy. He did not have sex with me but he usually fondled with my breasts. Whenever he romanced with me, he never said anything, he would just be touching me all over and I would not make any noise. I will then pray to God for forgiveness. I felt so bad that he was doing those things to me but I couldn’t dare to report a man of God. “.
Another rescued girl, Chinecherem, also 13, said “ I was taken to his house for prayer. But at night, he would come and make love to me. Thereafter, he would take other girls in turns. We all knew what was going on but could not talk because he was assisting us financially”.
I only slept with one not 30 girls
However, the man at the centre of controversy, Nkwocha, said among all the girls, he had only slept with one of them whom he identified simply as Kingdom. He claimed that he intended to marry Kingdom, a 16 year-old girl. Asked if her parents were aware that he was having a clandestine relationship with their daughter, he shook his head.
Nkwocha, who pastors a congregation of over 200 worshipers said “These are mere fabrications. I have only slept with one of them. Her name is Kingdom, whose mother brought to be staying with me so that I can train her in school . But she begged me into accepting one of the girls who has accommodation problem.
Kingdom has never been pregnant and I have not carried out any abortion on her. The only person that had an abortion was the girl that came to report me to the Police. But I was not responsible for the pregnancy, one of my pastors was responsible. In fact, It was when I took my mother’s corpse to the village for burial, that my phone rang and she (Onosaoluwa) told me that she was in the hospital to procure an abortion.
She said that Pastor Steven took her to the hospital On arrival, I invited both of them and threatened that I was going to report them to the Church’s committee this Sunday. As they were leaving, they connived to do this to me. This whole arrest was because I threatened to blow open the deed of Pastor Steven with the girl in question”.
I am not happy with the development. If God can give me a second chance, I will make amends. I know that God is a merciful God. Is there anyone among us here who will say that he has not done anything that has offended God? Such person is a liar because the Bible says no man can say he has not sinned?, he said.