A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama has sentenced a pastor and founder of Mountain Movers Ministry International, Nyanya, Abuja, Pastor Basil Princewill, to twelve years in jail for raping a 14-year-old girl.
Pastor Princewill was sentenced to seven years for the offence of rape and five years for the offence of abetment.
He was said to have forcefully had sexual intercourse with 14-year-old Favour Iwoha, between July 27 and December 31, 2011 at Mountain Movers Ministry International and his house at Nyanya, Abuja, and got her impregnated in the course.
According to the prosecutor, he subsequently gave her drugs with a view to aborting the pregnancy.
The presiding judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, on Tuesday, found Pastor Princewill guilty on two of the four counts he was charged with.
Justice Baba-Yusuf wondered how a cleric, who called himself a man of God, and who the society looked up to as next to God will get involved in such shameful, disgraceful and satanic act.
He said: “It is even worrisome when the person involved is a man of God who we should look up to as next to God.
“Those who serve in the Lord’s vineyard are expected to be an example to the society.
“We have a duty to send signal that this attitude should not be tolerated.
“It is regrettable that the person who called himself man of God will be involved in such shameful disgraceful and satanic act.”
The judge held that the court should use the pastor as shinning example deter others with such evil mind from engaging in such acts, saying:
“He would face the prison walls like a monastery so that when he comes out, he would have been born again.
“I believe the evidence of the PW2 (victim) to be true and the PW1 (her mother) told the story in the same way the victim told the court too.
“The evidence of the accused was inconsistent and confusing also and the direct evidence given by the victim to her mother narrated the ordeal the victim went through in the hands of the accused.”
The judge held that out of the four-count charge proffered against the defendant by the prosecution, he is convicted on count one, which is rape and count three which is abetment to cause abortion.
Because the convict was a first-time offender, he sentenced him to seven years for the offence of rape and five years for the offence of abetment which will run concurrently.
Pastor Princewill was arraigned in June, 2012 by the police a four-count charge bordering on rape, impersonation and attempt to cause abortion and abetting miscarriage.