The pastor of a white garment church in Iwaya, Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State, Prophet Sunday Adelaja, is cooling his heels in police custody for allegedly impregnating a 16-year-old girl.
Pastor Adelaja, who is reportedly married to two wives, allegedly defiled the Junior Secondary School 3 pupil twice, resulting in the pregnancy. City Round learnt that the victim had kept the incident to herself as instructed by Adelaja until her mother got wind of the pregnancy which is now five months old. It was gathered that the pastor owned up to the act but claimed he intended to marry the girl.
Our correspondent learnt that the pupil’s parents had gone to attend a meeting at the palace of the community’s traditional ruler sometime in June 2019, leaving her behind.
The 40-year-old pastor was said to have invited her to his house on the pretext that he wanted to ask her some questions, but molested her instead.
The girl told City Round that Adelaja threatened her not to divulge the secret to anybody and that she should make herself available to him on demand.
She said about one week after the first encounter, the pastor accosted her while she was running an errand for her mother and took her to his house for another round of sex.
The pupil explained that about two weeks ago, her mother noticed some changes in her and took her to a hospital for a test. The result reportedly confirmed that she was five months pregnant.
She said, “My parents were in a meeting at the palace that day when the pastor asked me to come. He said he wanted to ask me something and took me to his second house. When we got there, I asked him what our mission was and he said I should be patient. He then shut the door and pushed me on the bed.
“I tried to struggle with him but he overpowered me. After he had sex with me, he told me not to tell anyone. One week after, he stopped me along the road, took me to his house and had sex with me again.
“Some weeks ago, my mother was worried about how I was behaving and she took me to hospital. It was confirmed there that I am pregnant. The pastor was the only person that had sex with me and he didn’t deny it.”
The father of the victim, who identified himself simply as Soliu, stated that he was shocked when he learnt that it was Adelaja, who impregnated his daughter.
He said the suspect confessed to the crime and promised to provide N2,000 on a daily basis for the welfare of the girl.
The father further narrated, “Her mother was afraid to tell me our daughter is pregnant. The mother went to inform my brother and a friend’s father who came to break the news to me last Tuesday. I was shocked when they told me it was Pastor Adelaja who impregnated my daughter. This is somebody who already has two wives.
“Through a friend, we took the case to a human rights group and it was reported at the Ijebu-Ife Police Station on Thursday, December 5. My child is still going to school; why should he contemplate marrying her?”
The representative of Advocate for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network of Nigeria, the rights group monitoring the case, Mr Adeyemi Akin-Akala, said the incident caused pandemonium in the community as angry youths attacked Adelaja’s church.
He said, “The youths pasted a notice on the church entrance that no one should enter the premises. Apparently, the prophet was at large when the youths got to the church and out of anger they destroyed the church walls, which led to the arrest of four of them. The perpetrator (Adelaja) then came out of hiding to the police station.
“A medical test was conducted on the girl at Ijebu-Ife General Hospital and the matter was later transferred to the police gender unit in Abeokuta.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the case, adding that investigation was ongoing.