Nigerian pastor Chukwuemeka Nwocha, above, General Overseer of the Tongue of Fire Restoration Ministry in Lagos, Nigeria, is facing a battery of charges relating to 13 girls he allegedly kept as sex slaves.
According to this report, the 36-year-old is a “man of God” known to his congregation, both young and old, as “Daddy”.
When he was paraded before journalists at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja yesterday, Nwocha explained how he came to came to harbour the girls in his three-bedroomed abode.
He said it all started when the children in his church, who called him, “daddy, daddy” told him they would like to visit him.
I only tried to help the girls.When the first girl came, she said she did not have anywhere to go. I did not know her parents. I am a pastor and I felt pity for her. After spending three days, I told her she needed to go out and bring some of her relations so that they would know where she was. But she did not.
Later, some parents in my church also said they would like to send their chidlren to live with me. Some of them came to spend holidays after their exam.
He insisted the parents knew they were in his house. But after telling stories that diverted attention from allegations that he raped the girls and had also forced some of them to undergo abortions, he paused and shook his head.
I am a pastor, the Devil only used the children against me. I did not rape them. I only slept with Sola (real name withheld). She is my girlfriend and we actually planned to marry.
When asked how old the girl he mentioned was, he said she was about to turn 17.
The Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, Fatai Owoseni, had said that the pastor haboured the girls with the promise of paying their school fees, feeding them and buying them gifts.
While they were in his house, three of them became pregnant and he took them for abortions. He first denied all the allegations but like all criminals, he later confessed to raping them without using protection.
One of his victims, a 13-year-old, sobbed as she told reporters that her parents had indeed given her permission to spend a holiday in the pastor’s house.
She said the 13 girls all house lived in one room of the pastor’s flat.
There is only one bed in the room. We all sleep anyhow we could. One of us, who is older is the one who cooked in the house. I got there two weeks ago. My parents are his church members. I just felt it will be good if I spent part of the holiday in pastor’s house. My parents gave their permission before I went there.
It was when I got to the house that I saw other girls. Few days after I got there, he called me and took me to his room and slept with me. He told me not to speak to anybody about what he did and that he would buy me clothes. I knew that he was sleeping with the other girls. I don’t know whether anyone of the other girls have had abortion.
The girl confirmed that the pastor is married and that his wife was never around, contrary to the pastor’s claim that he was single.
This was corroborated by another girl who said they all called the pastor’s wife Mary and that she came around to the house once in a while.
The CP has said Nwocha would be prosecuted along with whoever conspired with him to commit the crimes.