The Abia State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of the General Overseer and pastor of Liberation Word Assembly International in Aba, Peculiar Ginika, over allegations of sexually abusing a minor.
Pastor Ginika is currently held at the Rapid Response Squad of the command headquarters, where he is undergoing questioning after his arrest last weekend, The Nation reported.
The victim’s father had informed RRS personnel that his daughter had experienced sexual assault by the cleric he identified as their family pastor.
A police source indicated that a nurse, who allegedly assisted the suspect with contraceptive pills and collected the victim’s blood sample, might also face questioning.
According to family sources, the victim, who turned 17 in November 2023, disclosed that the cleric initiated the abuse when she was 15.
The suspect, who sent his wife packing, allegedly exploited the teenager’s desire to deepen her faith and claimed credit for healing her asthma, a condition she had struggled with since the age of eight.
The sources revealed that the cleric coerced the victim into secrecy through an oath, threatening a worsening of her asthma if she spoke out.
According to the victim’s family member, the manipulation extended to the point of alienating her from their parents and relatives.
“My sister said that the man forced himself on her and led her to an oath never to reveal what was going on between both of them or she risks her asthma affliction coming back, this time more severe,” the family friend explained.
“He manipulated my sister such that she hated her parents and even her relations. He even went ahead trying to force my sister to marry him.
“Through his manipulation and fear of losing my sister, he made my sister, who had wanted to study medicine, not to agree writing her Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam as she instead opted for a catering school.”
Lamenting the unfortunate development, the source added, “How can such a brilliant girl refuse to pursue her education to choose to go to catering school. We knew that something was wrong, but we never suspected the pastor.
“Each day that they have s*x, he uses her up to five times and he gives her contraceptives at the end of the rounds of sex. My sister will wear out and will hardly do house chores and we never knew that a man who visits our house was behind all these,”
“He even went ahead trying to force my sister to marry him,” the source added.
A police source, who confirmed the incident stated that the case is under the jurisdiction of the RRS team at the Aba North local government area headquarters, Aba.
Confirming the arrest in an interview on Tuesday, January 30, the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Maureen Chinaka stated: “He is being interrogated by the police.”