The General Overseer of Tongues of Fire Restoration Ministry, Sogunle, Lagos, Pastor Chukwuemeka Nkwocha, who was arrested for harbouring 13 under-aged girls as s*x slaves, was Monday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.
The 36-year-old ‘spiritual daddy’ was arraigned on a 4-count charge bothering on sexual harassment, assault, defilement and procurement of noxious drugs with intent to defile.
The Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Idowu Akande, said all the victims were found in the pastor’s residence.
The prosecutor, Inspector Simon Imhowua, gave the names of the 13 girls as Adedeji Mosadoluwa (19), Glory Friday (12), Millicent Chukwu (13), Okeke Chiamaka (16), Nwadocheli Precious (13), Ada Akwarandu (13), Emmanuel Faith (17) and Anyaoha Chidera (14). Others are Chinecherem John (16), Etoh Adanne (18), Precious Amarachi (16), Audu Promise (15) and 13-year-old Chinecherem Odozor.
Imhowua said the offence was punishable under Section 266 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
The defense counsel, A. K. Olajuka, sought bail for the accused on liberal terms and the prosecutor said the bail conditions should not be on liberal terms as the grave implication of the case should not be overlooked.
Olajuka presented his bail application on the grounds that the prosecutor over-exaggerated the matter, and did not provide substantive evidence to buttress the case.
Olajuka protested that one of the acclaimed victims was a cousin to the pastor and that the pastor had a charity organization which had been catering for the girls in the past four years.
He said the girls were neither abducted nor held against their will, noting that he would not want to state the antecedent of the case but pleaded that it was in the judicial prerogative of Her Lordship to grant him bail.
In her ruling, the Magistrate, B.O. Osunsanmi denied the accused bail, describing the offence as highly grievous which needs the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP and should be referred to the High Court.