Anambra priest remanded for allegedly impregnating teenage girl

Anambra priest remanded for allegedly impregnating teenage girl

A Catholic priest in Anambra State, Reverend Nwaigwe Stephen, has been remanded for allegedly raping and impregnating a teenager, Daily Trust reported.

Nwaigwe was remanded to prison until December 6, 2023 by the Awka Chief Magistrate Court, also known as the Anambra State Child, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court.

He is said to be one of several priests expelled in 2018 by a religious congregation in Orlu, Imo State, known as the Two Hearts of Love Congregation (Ugwu Nso) for alleged misconduct. There is.

The magistrate ordered the prosecution to send the original case file to the office of the Attorney General and Attorney General of Anambra State.

According to the report, the priest is also suspected of forcibly taking the pregnant minor to Benin City, Edo State, where she gave birth.

However, a police investigation revealed that the baby’s whereabouts are still unknown.

The offense of having sex with a minor is punishable under Section 34(2) of the Anambra State Child Rights Act, 2004.

The priest reportedly met the boy at the St. Albert the Great Catholic Parish in Obosi, Anambra State, where he was invited to attend a religious church program.

While answering questions in court during remand proceedings on Monday, November 20, 2023, the victim said that when she was 14 years old, a priest took her away from her parents and forced her to live with him, and that she was similarly He claimed that he had promised to sponsor her education while he served as her cook.

She stated that shortly after moving into the priest’s home, the priest began forcing her to perform sexual acts and continued to do so until she became pregnant at age 17.

Furthermore, the minor informed the priest that she was pregnant, and the priest took her from Ihiala Anambra State, where she lived, to a house of a man and woman somewhere in Benin City, Edo, and the priest told her: He stated that he introduced him. his brother and his brother’s wife.

“However, when I delivered my baby at a local midwife’s home in Benin City, I was told that the baby had died, and when I tried to get them to show me the dead baby, I was told that the baby had been buried.”

When the court asked if she had been gang-raped before, the minor said: “On my way to Benin City, I was told to say that I was gang-raped by his father. But I have never been raped before, except what he (my father) did to me in his house. I have never done that.”

Also, during the remand proceedings, the police prosecutor informed the court that there were probable cause to order the priest’s remand. The witnesses were obliged to appear before the High Court to give evidence whenever the case was mentioned.

The defense attorney applied for bail for the defendant and prayed the court to grant the priest bail on the most lenient terms. If granted bail, Nwaigwe assured the court that he would never refuse bail.

However, the police prosecutor prayed the court to deny the pastor bail as the case before the court was a crime against a minor who is said to be under the spiritual protection of the accused.

While passing judgment on the bail application, the presiding judge, Chief Justice Genevieve Osakwe, said the case before the court was a crime punishable by life imprisonment and regretted that the crime of rape against minors was endemic in society. Stated.

Osakwe warned that the court would not sit idly by and watch society decline.


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