An Awka Chief Magistrates’ Court, otherwise known as the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court of Anambra State, has remanded a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. #Nwaigwe_Stephen to the Nigerian Correctional Center, for allegedly raping and impregnating a teenager.
The priest was also accused of forcefully taking the pregnant minor to Benin City, Edo State, where she was delivered of her baby, but police investigation revealed that the whereabouts of the said baby is still unknown.
It could be recalled that Fr. Nwaigwe was among the priests expelled by a popular Catholic Faith-Based Religious Congregation in Orlu, Imo State, known as the Two Hearts of Love Congregation” (Ugwu Nso) in 2018, for alleged misconducts inimical to the image of the order.
It was learnt that the priest had met the teenager at the St. Albert The Great Catholic Church Parish, Obosi, Anambra State, where he was invited for a religious church programme.
Meanwhile, according to the victim, while answering questions in court during remand proceedings on Monday November 20, 2023, the priest took her from her parents to live with him when she was 14 years old, promising to sponsor her education, while she equally served as the priest’s cook.
She added that not long after she moved into the priest’s house, he started forcing himself se*xually on her, saying that Rev. Fr. Nwaigwe continued doing it until she became pregnant at the age of 17.
The minor further stated that when she informed the priest about her pregnancy, the priest took her from Ihiala Anambra State, where they lived, to somewhere in Benin City, Edo State to the house of a man and woman who the priest introduced to her as his brother and brother’s wife.
“But when I gave birth to my baby at a native birth attendant’s house in Benin City, I was told that the baby died and when I made efforts for them to show me the dead baby, they said it has been buried”.
When the Court asked if she had been gang-raped before, the minor noted, “While on our way to Benin City, father told me to say that I was gang-raped. But I have never been raped before, except the ones he (father) did to me in his house”
®√ Sen Chijinkem Ugwuanyi