* Pastor accused of defiling 4 girls
* Says he spent 3 years in jail for refusing to sleep with his friend’s wife
By Vera Wisdom Bassey
For Pastor Ben Eze, life couldn’t be sweeter as he inhaled the fresh air of freedom after spending three years behind bars at the Kirikiri medium prison, in Lagos as an awaiting trial inmate. He was recently discharged over charges that he defiled four underaged girls for lack of evidence.
Finding it difficult to contain his joy, he revealed that it was only God who delivered him from prison as his case was laced with malice and vengeance. Eze was arrested and charged to court in 2014 because his pastor friend’s wife accused him of sexually abusing her maid.
But he denied the allegations. He however alleged that his pastor’s wife Mrs. Onyinyechi Gift Okereke who resides at Abolaji Street Mafoluko Oshodi Lagos attempted several times to seduce him without results.
Eze had moved in with the family of his Pastor due to accommodation problem and barely stayed for four months, when the woman allegedly began her advances each time her husband was not around, he alleged.
According to Eze, the elders of the church waded into the matter and warned her to desist from such act capable of spoiling the image of the Church.
Even after being cautioned by the church, he said she continued with her attempts to seduce him for some months and when she discovered he was a hard nut to crack, she framed him.
He further claimed that she then convinced her husband to get him arrested by policemen attached to Makinde Police station. This was done on the charges of defilement.
Eze said he had been through a lot of challenges because of the allegations levied against him by his pastor’s wife.
How his problems started
Eze recalled that his predicament began when on the fateful day somebody walked into his school premises requesting to see him. The man introduced himself as Prophet Victor Okereke.
After welcoming the visitor, he revealed his mission, which was that he was passing by and saw that the school compound was big enough for him to start a fellowship. In the process, Eze said he told him that a group of Church members also worshipped there at weekends, while he also conducts his own fellowship there.
After a while, Okereke came back with another request, which was to solicit Eze’s assistance and partnership to grow his own church. This got Eze relaxed and he eventually obliged.
According to Eze, Okereke had told him that he had two apartments; one for the wife and the children at number 1, Abolaji street and the other for him alone at Apostle Ogunwemimo street, both in Oshodi. At that point, Eze also opened up to him about
his accommodation problem. He told Okereke he had been moving from a hotel to the school, which he was managing.
“He welcomed me to his apartment and asked me to stay with them where he lives with his wife and children. So I was with him, and there I taught him the strategies of how to win souls and other ministerial work. He was not paying me; rather, I supported the ministry from my own pocket,” Eze narrated.
“During this time, his wife was also busy doing everything to sleep with me. I informed the elders of the church, who cautioned her. As she persisted, I decided to leave their apartment when he travelled to avoid falling into temptation”, he added.
After pleading with him for a while, he came back to the house. The next day, he was arrested because Prophet Okereke accused him of trying to seduce his wife.
“I was arrested by some police men from Makinde. The police collected bribe to make sure I was sent to a place where I will not come out from. I did not make any statement, but they used their own against me, and in this process I was manhandled and this affected my sight, I can’t see well after the treatment given to me.”
He said whenever his case came up in court, the judge kept adjourning it while he languished in prison until it was finally struck out on September 19, for lack of evidence.
You are a molester, Mrs. Okereke hits back
When Saturday Sun visited Mrs. Onyinyechi Okereke, the story took another dimension as she alleged that Pastor Eze deflowered her 10-year-old maid Nneka living with them as well as three other girls, making four girls in the same compound.
She added that, that was why Eze was arrested and charged to the Ikeja Magistrate court 2, in 2014.
According to Mrs. Okereke, Eze walked up to them one morning that he was stranded and needed a place to stay and so her family decided to give him a place to stay.
She however denied ever seducing Eze as he earlier claimed. This, she said was because as soon as her husband left the house for work, she also would go to her shop with her children. It was during her absence at home that Eze allegedly sexually molested her maid and others.
“Eze had accommodation problem and my husband and I accommodated him for a while in one of our rooms. The reason we gave him accommodation was that my husband is a pastor and we cannot see anyone in need without giving a helping hand.’’
Mrs. Okereke revealed that she kept pestering her husband to tell him to leave. But she said she didn’t know he was up to something bad. From one week, his stay with them stretched to four months.
But because he was a pastor, they couldn’t eject him. Her husband got to know him, when he was looking for a place to rent for worship and because Eze was a teacher in the school her husband wanted to rent, they had to support him during his trying time.
She narrated the events that led to Eze’s arrest. She noted that whenever she sent her house help to bring her cooking ingredients from the house, she will stay longer time than necessary and one day, she demanded to know why but she kept claiming that Eze sent her on errands.
One day, she saw small blood on her house girl’s pant and it aroused her curiosity. Later on, she started seeing whitish substances on her pant, which she suspected to be sperm. This made her go to the Mafoluku police station to report that someone was sexually molesting her maid. When she fingered him as her abuser, he was arrested.
‘’I was instructed to take her to the hospital. I took her to General Hospital Ikeja at Merabel Center. The girl confessed that whenever I send her to bring something from the fridge at the other room, that Eze will force himself on her, after which, he will threaten her never to tell anyone or else she will die. It was at the point that I brought cane to beat her that she confessed what Eze has been doing to her.’’
According to the girl, whenever he wanted to molest her, Eze will flog her with his belt and remove her pant, forcing himself on her. She revealed he raped her nine times.
It was when the case blew in the open that three of her neighbors’ daughters also accused Eze of sexually abusing them.
The children confessed that the suspect used to show them porn videos on his phone before he raped them.
Mrs. Okereke revealed that even though the relations of Eze came begging for the case to be settled out of court, the policemen in charge refused and insisted that he must be charged to court.
Another victim speaks
Azizat, a student of Hope Grammar School, Mafoluku is in JSS one. She said that whenever she comes into the house to watch television, Eze would be touching her and most times because she sits on the bed, he used it as an opportunity to rape her.
According to her, her parents are deaf and dumb and as a result she could not confide in anybody about being sexually abused. But luck ran out on Ben when his acts were uncovered.