Nigeria: Ex-Priest Incarcerated for Alleged Teen Rape

Nigeria: Ex-Priest Incarcerated for Alleged Teen Rape

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

A former Catholic priest, Stephen Nwaigwe, has been remanded in prison for allegedly raping and impregnating a teenager in Anambra State. The Awka Chief Magistrates’ Court, also known as the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court, ordered the remand. Nwaigwe, previously expelled by the “Two Hearts of Love Congregation,” continued religious activities despite his dismissal.

Accused of impregnating a minor he met at a church program, Nwaigwe allegedly took her to Benin City, Edo State, where she gave birth, but the baby’s whereabouts are unknown. The victim, taken in by Nwaigwe at 14 with promises of education support, claimed he sexually molested her, leading to pregnancy at 17.

During remand proceedings, the defence sought bail citing legal provisions, emphasizing Nwaigwe’s commitment to appearing in court. The prosecution opposed, highlighting the severity of the offence against a minor and the defendant’s suspension by the Roman Catholic Church. The presiding Chief Magistrate denied bail, directing Nwaigwe to seek it at the High Court and ordering case file transmission to the Attorney-General. The case is adjourned to December 6, 2023, for compliance report.

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