I told her that I wanted to marry her so that the spell on her family would not come upon her. I also told her that I would help to sponsor her education. She said there was no problem. I knew that if I didn’t tell her that, she would not agree to have sex with me.”
This was the confession of a 48-year-old pastor, Michael Abiodun Rabiu, who was arrested by detectives in Ogun State Police Command for not only defiling a 12-year-old girl (names withheld), but impregnating her.
The police image maker in the state, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the arrest, had said that Pastor Michael, as he is fondly called, with a church at Oluwo, Owode Egba, in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, had the girl as a choir member in his church before his act.
Nigerian Tribune learnt that the victim’s mother joined the church as a result of spiritual problem which led to the death of the daughters she had before the defiled girl.
The PPRO said that the police were informed that the mother took the girl to the suspect’s church for spiritual deliverance to prevent her from the same fate that befell her late sister.
“On the fateful day, the pastor, a father of three, asked the victim’s mother to send her to him for special prayer, but on getting there, the pastor took her into a room within the church and had carnal knowledge of her which resulted in pregnancy,” SP Oyeyemi stated.
The report was said to have made the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Owode Egba division, CSP Olasunkanmi Popoola, to send his detectives to the scene where the pastor was promptly arrested.
On interrogation, Pastor Michael, who confessed to the crime, blamed it on the devil, admitting that the girl had known no man before he had a sexual relationship with the JSS 2 student.
The mother of the victim said that she got to know about the pregnancy very late because her daughter had not started her menstrual period before, which made it difficult to know about it until she was seven months pregnant.
The state Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, had ordered the transfer of the suspect to State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation and prosecution after its conclusion.
Nigerian Tribune had an interview with the suspect. Below are excerpts:
“I’m from Ikorodu, Lagos State, but I have been in Owode Egba, Ogun State, for 13 years. I’m married and have three children – two by my first wife and one by my new wife. I am a deliverance pastor and the founder of the church I am in charge of. I started the deliverance ministry about 13 years ago but had been in the calling about 25 years ago.”
Why I was arrested
“In the girl’s lineage, there is a god call ‘tánràn’. It is a snake god. The god had already taken some children born before her, so that was what brought her and her mother to me for deliverance.
“I had noticed that the spell was about manifesting in the girl’s life as issues about death were always discussed with her.
“When she was brought to me, I advised her mother to quickly take care of her spiritually so that she would not lose her too. I asked the girl to come for deliverance for seven weeks, and she started coming every Wednesday after closing from school.
“About a week to the end of the deliverance sessions, when we finished prayers for the day, I don’t know how the devil came over to make me have sexual relationship with her.
“I told her that I wanted to marry her so that the spell on her family would not come upon her. I also told her that I would help to sponsor her education. She said there was no problem. I knew that if I didn’t tell her that, she would not agree to have sex with me.
“She is a young girl and I discovered her to be a virgin so I could not penetrate her easily, I got stuck on the way but I ejaculated in her. She left thereafter and continued as a member of the church choir.
“I discovered a change in her at about six months after. I didn’t give her any drug to take but I was so afraid of telling her mother. At that time, her mother noticed her swollen stomach and thought it was the spell that was at work in her. This was because those of her late siblings used to swell up before their deaths.
“This made her mother to take her for ultrasound scan where it was discovered that she was seven months pregnant. Her mother brought the issue to me and I confessed to her that I was responsible for the pregnancy. I started taking care of her until she had natural delivery of a baby boy (name withheld).
“By then, many people had known in the town. I also told my wife and she accepted it as a cross she has to bear. She did not quarrel with me.”
Expressing regret, the pastor said that he thought of committing suicide since the incident occurred because it was a shameful act on his part, but was advised against it.
“I’ve almost gone paralysed in my arms and legs. I thought of the girl’s age and turning God’s name into mockery and felt so ashamed,” he said.
Reason I got separated from my first wife
“She was very stubborn and tough. She used to be so angry that she would attempt to break objects on my head. And I’m the easygoing type that doesn’t like trouble. I also didn’t want to die prematurely. That was why I asked for separation when we could not resolve our differences. She remarried and I also decided to get another wife two years ago. She’s 25 years old and has a nine-month-old baby for me.”
He also said one of his pastors had taken charge of the about 150-congregation church in his absence.
Ironically, the mother of the girl, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune, said that she was not ready to have any case with the pastor as he has been treating her daughter well since the pregnancy became known.
“I have been attending the pastor’s church since 12 years ago. And he likes me and my family. He stood by me in times of tribulation. I know what happened is the work of the devil. I have lost two children to strange deaths, as they would swell up and die within a month of being sick.
“I had a dream about my daughter and intimated the pastor of it. He also came to tell me of the vision he had about my daughter. He said she would need to come for prayers and deliverance.
“About seven months after the prayers, I noticed that she looked swollen as it used to happen to her late sisters. I was afraid that the same thing had befallen my daughter, so I took her to a hospital. It was there I was told that she was pregnant.
“I asked her about the person who impregnated her and she replied that it was the pastor. I went to meet him and he admitted that he was the one.
“Since he did not deny the ownership, all I was thinking of was to support my daughter throughout the period so that she would have safe delivery.
“Since the pregnancy was detected through the scan, the pastor has done all necessary for my daughter’s ante natal clinic attendance and preparations towards her delivery. He bought everything needed and took care of her financially.
“Since her delivery too, he has been taking care of her and the baby. And he has also changed her school and paid her school fees where she is now.
“I have accepted what has happened as destiny. I’m not ready to make any case with him. I was not the one who reported him to the police, neither was it my daughter.”
Pleading that the pastor should be forgiven and let off the hook, the girl’s mother said: “There is no one to help me take care of my daughter and her baby except the pastor, which he has been doing very well.
“I’m 47 years old, a widow and with no parents. I sell bread and don’t make N500 gain in a day. How do we survive without him? At this time, there is no one to sponsor my child’s education. There is no one to help me.”
She also said that her daughter is 14 years old, not 12 as being speculated, disclosing that she was born on July 22, 2008.
The girl, when speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, said that she did not tell anybody that the pastor forced her into sex.
“He told my mother that I should come to church for deliverance prayer. We had been going through the sessions for weeks when, after prayers one day, he asked me to go to the parlour, remove my dress and lie down.
“That was when he slept with me. He pleaded with me not to scream in pain when he noticed that I was a virgin. I didn’t know I was pregnant because I had not menstruated before the sex,” she explained.
She also pleaded that the father of her son should be released and allowed to take care of her and her baby.