By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—A middle aged pastor has been arrested by the police in Anambra State for allegedly defiling a seven -year old girl in Nodu village, Okpuno in Awka South Local Government Area of the state.
The suspect, popularly called Bro. Solomon, was said to be in charge of a prayer ministry where hundreds of worshipers thronged daily to seek solutions to their spiritual problems.
It was gathered that the suspect was apprehended following an alarm raised by residents of the area who became suspicious of his sexual harassment of innocent members of his church.
The victim, who is daughter to one of the members of the ministry, was said to have been taken to the church for prayers by her mother when she was sexually abused by the suspect.
A resident of the area, 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 allegedly discovered.
“This man is not a pastor at all. A native doctor is even far better than him. See the kind of things discovered in a prayer house and all along, we thought he was a pastor,” he said.
He called on government to investigate the proliferation of so-called prayer ministries across the state in order to put a stop to such ugly incidences.
Another resident, Mrs. Clara Ezenwa, described the incident as sacrilegious, calling on human rights organizations to follow up the matter to ensure the victim got justice.
“Deflowering a girl of that age is an abomination. The poor girl may not have rich parents that may be willing to pursue the case. So the civil society organisations and law enforcement agencies should make sure justice is done to the case,” she advised.
Vanguard gathered that the church was preparing for a special prayer summit on Friday before their pastor was arrested.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Garba Umar, who confirmed the incident said the victim had been taken to the hospital for proper medical attention.
He also promised that police would carry out full investigation into the matter to ensure that justice was done, warning that anyone who engaged in such dastardly act must be dealt with according to the law.
He advised parents to be careful of where they took their wards to in search of spiritual solution.