By Jane Echewodo
An average man, Chucks Isaac, who was accused of inserting his finger in the private part of two girls aged eight and 11 assigned to him in a church Thursday denied the charge and the voluntary statement credited to him before a Special and Sexual Offences Court sitting in Ikeja.
The defendant committed the alleged offence at the juvenile arm of Our Lady of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Ogba.
Isaac who resides at 41 Ogunsola Street, Ogba while defending himself said being a teacher at the Block Rosary (juvenile arm) of the church, all he did for all the children was to teach them the Igbo rendering of the Hail! Mary Full of Grace prayer of the Catholic Church contrary to the accusations melted against him.
The defendant was apprehended in October 2015 from his residence that he inserted his fingers in the vagina of an eight years old daughter of a fellow member of his church.
Led by defense counsel, Mr. C.C Amasiki, the defendant told the court presided over by Justice Taiwothat he didn’t write the statement admitted as evidence in court. He claimed he only learned how to read and write in prison custody.
Narrating his ordeal during his detention, “The following morning when they brought me out of the cell, I saw Mrs. Ugwu the complainant’s mother and the police asked if I know them and I said they are my members in the Catholic church.
He added that one policewoman alleged that Mrs. Ugwu said that the daughter (name withheld) told her that I fingered her.
“The policewoman asked can I write, I said I don’t know how to write.
“It was a policewoman who was looking for someone that can speak Igbo language.
Responding to questions on statement he made with the police, he said, “I didn’t make any statement. It was what the policewoman wrote. I saw her writing but I didn’t know what she was writing.”
“Later she brought a paper that I should sign which I said I can’t sign what I did not write, so when I refused the other one slapped me.
Isaac stated that it was when he got to prison he became literate.
His words, “We have different schools in prison, primary, secondary and University which is National Open University of Nigeria in Kirikiri Medium Prison.
He debunked the notion that he was living at 14 Shonola Street and told the trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo that he couldn’t have sexually abused the children at the Block Rosary which was a trekking distance from the main church for the adults on Ondo Street, Ogba and that many other instructors teaching other languages were present in their corners.
He further told the judge that even the priest comes in from time to time to supervise the activities which he said takes place between 6:00p.m and 7:00p.m.
However, he said he was not married since he came from Eastern part of the country in 2007, and he is a member of the church and assigned to join the Block Rosary as member.
The defendant explained that the arm of the church constitutes both adult and children members who do not know how to pray, he said.
Meanwhile, the investigative officer had earlier testified and tendered the statement which had been admitted as exhibit according to Justice Taiwo who read from the court’s record following an objection from the prosecutor Mr.Olakunle Ligali during the defendant’s line of defence.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter until March 4 for continuation of trial.