The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries placed one David Onyekachukwu of its Life Camp branch, Abuja on indefinite suspension for allegedly raping and impregnating a 16-year-old junior secondary school pupil.
The church said in a statement on Monday that Onyekachukwu who, according to it not an ordained pastor had been arrested by the police.
The MFM premised Onyekachukwu’s indefinite suspension on its investigation, which it noted established that he raped the girl and that the affair eventually resulted in a pregnancy.
The suspect was arrested by operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.
Onyekachukwu, 48, who hails from Nsukka in Enugu State, reportedly 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, Ms. Stella Nezan, said the pastor confessed during interrogation to have sexually abused the girl twice and blamed the act on the “work of the devil.”
A statement by the spokesperson for the MFM, Mr. Collins Edomaruse, said the indefinite suspension was “in line with the rules and regulations of the MFM, which forbid such acts and frown on them.”
The statement quoted the regional overseer, Gwarimpa Region, MFM, Pastor Niyi Babalola, as confirming the suspension.
Babalola was quoted as saying, “He (Onyekachukwu) is not an ordained pastor in the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. He is just a member/worker in the Life Camp branch and he has been suspended from the branch immediately.
“The church cannot 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 rape and pregnancy of the girl are 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 of MFM, Gwarimpa Region. This is therefore a personal issue between the brother and the innocent victim.
“It has nothing to do with the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. In MFM, the leadership does not condone indiscipline. Absolute holiness within and without is our hallmark in the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. This is of 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, Onyekachukwu was said to have volunteered to provide shelter and also deliver her from alleged witchcraft.
The victim had lost her parents in 2018 and was said to have been in dire need of accommodation.
NAPTIP said investigation revealed that the suspect 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 in her first year with him, 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.
With Punch report