Tony Okafor, Awka
A self-acclaimed pastor in Anambra State, identified as Arinze Obiwenite has allegedly raped his 12-year-old daughter.
Reportedly confessing his incestuous act, the pastor who was said to have 11 wives , said he enjoyed the daughter more than any of the wives.
Obiwenite, who hails from Abacha community in the Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, was said to have molesting most of his daughters for years until the bubble burst in the case of the 12 year-old daughter.
He was arrested on Monday by the office of the State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Mrs Ify Obinabo, following a tipoff from a whistleblower who revealed the suspect’s atrocities.
A source in the ministry who begged not be named because she was not authorized to speak to the press, said” It was gathered that the suspect had married up to eleven wives, but does not live with any of them at the moment; while he locked up his children in the room for years and was allegedly ‘cooling off’ sexually with them at his will.
“The suspect was also said to own a booming “Healing Ministry”, known as the “Trinity Healing Ministry”, which he was allegedly operating using charms and other diabolical means to perform various kinds of miracles..
But in a statement issued by a media aide to the commissioner for Women and Social Welfare,on Monday, Chidinma Ikeanyionwu, she said Obiwenite was arrested during a surprise raid of his home.
She also said the raid was authorized by the Traditional Ruler of Abacha community, Igwe Nwabunwanne Odiegwu, when the Commissioner and her team paid him a courtesy visit and notified him of her intent to take up the matter, which would warrant raiding the suspect’s home.
Ikeanyionwu said, “It was during the visit that Igwe Odiegwu revealed that the alleged culprit, by name, Arinze Obiwenite, presented himself as a Christian who gives solution to people seeking for answers, without knowing that he has other motives up his sleeve.
“The traditional ruler explained that the town got to know of his illicit activities when he accused some young boys in the community of raping the daughter and was summoned to the palace on several occasions but failed to honour the royal invitation, which, he( monarch) said prompted the youths of the community to troop to his residence, but were utterly disappointed at what they saw at his house.
“According to the Royal father, on getting to his house, they discovered that he locked up his children including the 12-year old who he alleged that some young men of the community had raped.
“And, when questioned, the daughter revealed that the father locked them up in the room for five years and that he always has carnal knowledge of her while he fingers the younger ones.”
Ikeanyionwu also revealed that a stakeholder in the community, Chief Paul Omofia, explained that the youths had wanted to the take laws into their hands as they made up their minds to burn the suspect alive, but were calmed by the monarch who intervened and pleaded with them not to act violently.
According to her, Chief Omofia also disclosed that the exposé was made just few weeks after the community’s Ofala Festival where they called on the gods of the land to expose and disgrace any evil doer in the community.
She added, “During a visit to where the children were kept, Honourable Obinabo, after a physical examination of their condition, assured them of justice and a conducive environment for growth and proper care, while she interrogated the alleged culprit Arinze Obiwenite who denied all the allegations leveled against him but was quick to ask the traditional ruler to forgive him and help find a way of resolving the issue without going to court, which Igwe Odiegwu refused.
“During the visit to Obiwenite’s compound it was further discovered that he also uses diabolic means to run a ministry known as ‘Holy Trinity Healing Ministry’.
“Some fetish items discovered in his house included a long list of paper where he wrote down names of people, a grave at his backyard where he admitted he stays to make his incantations if need be and some native medicines which he said were also diabolic.”
Obinabo further warned against any form of child abused in the state as, according to her, anyone found guilty in that respect.would be severely dealt with by the government.
She also advised members of the public to open up and report any perceived child abuse and other related crimes in their areas in any parts of the state, for immediate government attention and intervention.