The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries on Monday slammed an indefinite suspension on the ‘Pastor’ of its branch in Life Camp area of Abuja, David Onyekachukwu, over an indecent relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
The church, however, said Onyekachukwu is “not an ordained Pastor” and has been arrested by the police.
The MFM premised the indefinite suspension on its investigation which established that the ‘Pastor’ raped the girl and consequently resulted in pregnancy.
The suspect was arrested by operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.
Onyekachuku, 48, who hails from Nsukka in Enugu State, had met the victim, a Junior Secondary School 2 pupil in the Karmo area sometime in 2018 and started making love advances to her.
NAPTIP had in a statement on Sunday by the Head of its Press and Public Relations, Stella Nezan, said the pastor, after his arrest and during interrogation, confessed to have sexually abused the girl two times and blamed the act on the “work of the devil.”
A statement by the spokesperson of MFM, Collins Edomaruse, obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja said the indefinite suspension was “in line with the rules and regulations of MFM which forbid such acts and frown at them.”
The statement quoted the Regional Overseer of MFM in Gwarimpa Region, Pastor Niyi Babalola as confirming the suspension.
Babalola said, “He (Onyekachukwu) is not an ordained pastor in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. He is just a member/worker in that Life Camp branch and he has been suspended from the branch immediately.
“The church can not stop the law from taking its course as doing so will amount to condoning evil and being an accessory after the fact. After investigation, we confirm that the raping and impregnating of the girl is true and the matter is currently being handled by the Police.
“However, we want to say that the alleged person is not an ordained Pastor or an officially appointed Pastor in MFM Gwarimpa Region. This is, therefore, a personal issue between the Brother and the innocent victim.
“It has nothing to do with Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. In MFM, the leadership does not condone indiscipline. Absolute holiness within and without is our hallmark in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. This is of a priority in all our trainings and teachings to our Pastors and members. The alleged brother is already in the custody of the Police to allow the law to take its course.”
When he met the victim for the first time, Onyekachuku was said to have volunteered to provide shelter and also to deliver her from witchcraft. The victim had lost her parents in 2018 and was said to be in dire need of accommodation.
NAPTIP said investigation revealed that the pastor lost his wife at an undisclosed period and later brought the victim to stay with him and his daughter in Karmo. He allegedly volunteered to assist the victim with her education.
The victim noted that it was in her first year with the pastor that he started making love advances to her, an action she resisted.
NAPTIP said the pastor first raped the victim in March 2019 during her birthday and allegedly continued to rape her thereafter, resulting in the pregnancy.
The anti-trafficking agency said that the case would be “diligently prosecuted to secure justice for the victim.” Nezan said, “During interrogation, the pastor with the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, confessed to have sexually abused the girl twice and attributed the evil act to the work of the devil.
“He stated that he took the girl in to conduct deliverance on her and also enrolled her in school, having dropped out for about two years. After the deliverance, he took her to live with him and his daughter.”
The NAPTIP Director General, Julie Okah-Donli, said, “Rather than doing what is biblically expected of him in line with his calling, he abused his position and preyed on the very victim he was supposed to protect.
“Arising from the increased cases of rape and sexual abuse of female children and even males across the country, I have directed massive sensitisation across the country in order to arrest the situation.”