TONGUE of Fire Restoration Ministry in Lagos general overseer Pastor Chukwuemeka Nwocha has pleaded for forgiveness for his constant molestation of underage girls saying that the devil used them to mislead him.
Pastor Nwocha, 36, founded the church located in the Igbosere area of Lagos and is fondly called Daddy by the members of his congregation. However, yesterday, he was paraded before journalists at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters in Ikeja as a suspect who harboured 13 underage girls as sex slaves in a three-bedroom house.
Defending himself, Pastor Nwocha, said: “I only tried to help the girls. When the first girl came, she said she did not have anywhere to go and I did not know her parents and as I am a pastor I felt pity for her.
“After spending three days, I told her she needed to go out and bring some of her relations so that they would know where she was but she did not. Later, some parents in my church also said they would like to send their children to live with me and some of them came to spend holidays after their exams.”
He insisted the parents knew they were in his house but after telling stories that diverted attention from allegations that he raped the girls and had also forced some of them to do abortions, he paused and shook his head. He however, admitted to sleeping with one of the girls aged just 17.
Pastor Nwocha said: “I am a pastor, the devil only used the children against me. I did not rape them and I only slept with one who is my girlfriend and we actually planned to marry.”
Asked if the parents of the girls he claimed knew their whereabouts also knew he was sexually abusing them, he said yes. Lagos State police commissioner Fatai Owoseni, said that the pastor harboured the girls with the promise of paying their school fees, feeding them and buying gifts for them.
Mr Owoseni added: “While they were in his house, three of them became pregnant and he took them for abortions. He first denied all the allegations but like all criminals, he later confessed to raping them without using protection.”
One 13-year-old girl, who sobbed as she talked, explained that her parents indeed gave her permission to spend the holidays in the pastor’s house. She said all the 13 of them in the pastor’s house lived in one room in his three-bedroom flat.
According to the girl, the pastor is married and that his wife is schooling and was never around, contrary to the claims of the pastor that he was single. This was corroborated by another girl who said they all called the pastor’s wife Mary and that she came around to the house once in a while.