Members of Christ Shepherd Church in Kubwa, the biggest satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, are in disarray over the allegation of one of them against their pastor.
A nursing mother and member of the church and her pastor are at loggerheads, as the woman accuses the pastor of rape attempts at her. However, the pastor claims the woman is out to blackmail him because he could not afford N400,000 lifeline she demanded. He said even the police have exonerated him of the claims of rape.
According to the victim of the alleged rape, her pastor’s first attempt to rape her was in 2012 when she was five months pregnant. She recounted how the pastor dipped his hands into her bra and grabbed her breasts. She revealed that she managed to escape but couldn’t tell her husband whom she suspected might attack the pastor. She narrated further that the clergyman of 13 years made other immoral attempts at her.
The mother and church member told Abuja Metro how her pastor told her God had revealed to him that she would be his second wife and help him fullfil his vision. She also alleged that the pastor prophesied how her husband would die by 2015. “He told me that my husband would die and that I would become his second wife.”
She said the pastor insisted that his sperm and blood must be exchanged with hers, and it took her enough courage to finally tell her husband, who couldn’t believe her story either. Determined to prove how randy the pastor was, she decided to record the next conversation with him. A copy of the recorded conversation has been obtained by Abuja Metro.
The last act that spilled the secret finally came. Unfortunately for the pastor, his target of sexual harassment used her mobile phone to record the conversation, as she narrated. On day of the recording, she alleged that the pastor made some success of his intent by reaching and grabbing her pants but she escaped unhurt. What she said was the pant the pastor tore was exhibited for Abuja Metro to see.
The pastor has, however, denied any involvement in all of these. In a chat with Abuja Metro, he rather accused the woman and her family of deliberately acting to ruin his reputation through blackmail. He said the real issue that made him the target of the woman and her family was his refusal to afford them N400,000 they demanded to pay their house rent. The cleric asserted that his clean moral standing was known to the entire church and no other member ever accused him of rape attempt.
When questioned about the recorded conversation where he allegedly apologised to the woman, the pastor said such evidence was false since there was no video image to back the claim. He said he had been cleared of any wrongdoing by the police that handled the matter and, therefore, he is free.
Meanwhile, the accuser and alleged victim of rape has fired at the police for deliberate plans to sabotage effort to prosecute the pastor. She alleged that rather than investigate to verify her claims, officers that handled the complaint and a deputy commissioner of Police in Abuja are harassing and intimidating her family. She said the police have turned around to accuse her husband of plans to assassinate the pastor, thereby abandoning the investigation of attempts to rape her and possible prosecution of the cleric.
She said she was scared that the safety of her family members could no longer be guaranteed, as they had been receiving calls from members of the church, who were threatening fire if she refused to drop the case.
When I was pregnant, I always swept the church, but I didn’t know the pastor had plans against me. He made three attempts to rape me. There were several times he wanted to pray for me and touched me in funny ways. Then he would say God gave him the approval to touch me. But what I can’t understand is why the church members are against me for complaining of wrong done to me. I don’t know if they expected me to keep my mouth shut in the face of maltreatment.
I have been going through psychological problems since the incident. It was when I knew he could not stop his harassment that I decided to record his discussions with me so that people will believe my story and that would make me free from him. The first time the pastor tried it, I told a member of the church who advised me not to say anything. The member said it could damage the image of the church and the pastor. That was why I didn’t tell my husband then. When I finally told my husband, he asked them why this had to happen. The threats and many lies from the pastor were just alarming. My husband thought I was lying when I told him the very first time.
The last incident
It thing got so bad when the pastor started saying that he needed to have his sperm in me. He said also that he needs his blood to mix with mine. At the last incident, he was so daring that he tore my pants. He always said he got prophecies that I was his wife and he would add my five children to his own because God told him my husband would die in 2015 so he could have me as wife.
Call for justice
The pastor had been boasting that I cannot get justice, and still threaten to deal with me the more. Some members of the church are also threatening me. They said I don’t know how to shut my mouth, so they will help shut it up. And lately the police have been part of our problem and threats.
I couldn’t reconcile why the man who preaches to the church from the pulpit could be the same person that made several attempts to rape me and still the one threatening my life. I am not the only woman in that church that has gone through this before. I think the only problem I have before the church is that I am the only one that mustered the boldness to raise the issue.
After listening to the allegations of the woman against the pastor, Abuja Metro got the pastor’s response through phone call and he narrated his side of the tale.
AM: Sir, this is a reporter from The Sun Newspapers
Pastor: My brother, I am afraid to answer any call. Last week, they almost killed me and my wife. I don’t know who is calling so, I am afraid. Last week, somebody called and said he was from the Vanguard Newspapers.
AM: Are you aware of a rape allegation against you by one Mrs….?
Pastor: My brother, anybody can take up your name and say anything. Did she show you any video of me trying to rape her? I want to ask you. If somebody wants to rape you, do you record everything that happened, and the video cassette will be there? Or would the person being raped shout so that people will hear?
AM: Are you saying you are innocent then?
Pastor: My brother, I have been proven innocent by the police. They even took me to Zone 7 Police station in Abuja. I was proven innocent. All the members of the church know about it. They know that she is lying.
I lent her N50,000 because she said she wanted to go to America.
AM: Let us stick to the issue sir. According to her, your first attempt to rape her was when she was five months pregnant. Is that also false?
Pastor: That is a lie. The church members know how she nearly destroyed my home. She nearly fought my wife. My wife knows that she needed help. The Lord said we should give help to the poor. There are many ladies in my church and nobody has accused me of raping her before. God knows how I bear the burden of this woman. After helping her, she turned against me. I fear God and cannot act against Him.
AM: What exactly are you saying about the accusations?
Pastor: When she was about to give birth, she didn’t have money to go to the hospital. I gave her N8,000. The same woman came to my office crying for help several times. At one of such occasions, she said she needed money to train in computer operation and needed my assistance because the husband couldn’t afford that.