An Ebonyi State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Abakaliki, on Thursday, remanded one Pastor Okpara Apollos in a correctional centre for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old girl..
The suspect was alleged to have defiled the victim after a house fellowship, which held in his house on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
It was gathered that after the fellowship, the suspect sent the little girl on an errand and when she came back with the items he asked her to buy, he locked her up and allegedly had carnal knowledge of her.
The victim’s mother was said to have got to know about her daughter’s ordeal when the girl got home that night and started crying and on closer examination, she discovered that blood was gushing out from her private parts.
The victim’s mother was quoted as saying, “Upon inquiry, I got to know that my girl had been defiled. The pastor took advantage of her. She told me that after the fellowship that held in the pastor’s house, he put his manhood in her private parts.
“She said after the house fellowship, the pastor sent the other children away and asked my child to go and buy something for him. When she came back, he locked her in his house and started touching her with his hands and eventually put his manhood in her private parts.”
Apollos was alleged to have committed the offence at Mgbabor Achara village in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state.
He was arraigned on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
The police prosecutor, ASP Mathias Eze, told the court that the offence was punishable under Section 34 (2) of the Ebonyi State Child Right Law and Related Matters, 2010.
The charge read, “That you, Okpara Apollos, on March 8, 2020, at Mgbabor Achara village, Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Magisterial District, did have unlawful sexual intercourse with the victim (name withheld), aged 10, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 34 (2) of Ebonyi State Child Right Law and Related Matters, 2010.”
The defence counsel, Mr J. Onua, applied to the court that his client be admitted to bail because no human was above sin.
The prosecuting counsel, ASP Eze, opposed the bail application, stressing that the offence was beyond the jurisdiction of the court.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs Nnenna Onuoha, maintained that the court lacked the jurisdiction to adjudicate the matter and stressed that the evidence of commission of the offence was there for everybody to see.
Consequently, Onuoha directed that the suspect be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, while the case file should be transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for necessary legal action.
She adjourned the matter till April 3, 2020, for the report of compliance.