by Rachel Ogbu
Alasco Sobowale, a pastor based in Lagos has been accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in Epe.
The incident took place at the girl’s house located at 10, Togodo Street, Temu Town on December 15.
Ngozi Anjorin, the victim’s aunty said the victim was new in Lagos from Imo state and only spoke Igbo Language.
According to a report, she said Sobowale, who also speaks Igbo, allegedly lured her niece to the toilet around 9pm and raped her.
“My niece was sent to Lagos about two weeks before the incident so I could send her to school because she doesn’t speak English language. She only speaks Igbo and only I and the pastor, who is our neighbour, speak Igbo,” she said.
“On that particular night, my children were in the room watching television but I couldn’t find my niece. I kept on shouting her name but I got no answer. I then proceeded to the toilet which is detached from the building. I knocked on the door of the toilet and the pastor immediately ran out and I saw her inside the toilet.
“When I inquired of her what she was doing inside the toilet with the pastor, she said he lured her into the toilet and covered her mouth with his palm so she wouldn’t scream. She said the pastor brought out his penis and forced it into her anus. She said he also put his penis in her vagina and when she discharged a particular fluid, he used a handkerchief to scoop it.”
Anjorin said Sobowale, who lives with his wife and children in the same compound, fled after the incident.
Two days later, she reported the matter to the Epe Police Division and the policemen began a manhunt who tracked him down. Residents added that after Sobowale’s arrest, some of his church members accused a six-year-old girl of bewitching the pastor and had her flogged and paraded.
“Sobowale is not actually the head pastor. His wife is the senior pastor of the church known as Okiki Imole. A few days after the incident, a six-year-old girl was branded a witch and accused of manipulating the pastor to commit the dastardly act. The poor girl was beaten up and paraded round the town. They said when the pastor was conducting deliverance for her; her spirit took over his body,” an anonymous source said,.
Anjorin said the alleged rape victim was rushed down to Epe General Hospital where tests were conducted on her.
A copy of the doctor’s report stated that the victim’s “vaginal hymen is no longer intact and bruises were observed in the anal region.”
The report further stated that there was sperm residue in the victim’s private part and it was concluded that she had been sexually assaulted.
A doctor, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said because Sobowale had not provided his sperm sample, it was impossible to ascertain if it was his own sperm that was found in the victim’s private part.
Sobowale was released a few days later and charges against him dropped, reports claim.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, confirmed that the girl was raped and the pastor was released on bail because courts were not in session.
“The pastor is in charge of a white garment church in the area. He will be charged with sodomy. He was released on bail because courts are not sitting but once courts resume, he will be charged,” she said.