Absence of prosecution witness stalls trial of pastor accused of raping minors

The accused allegedly raped three minors.

The absence of a prosecution witness, Mary Paul, in an Abuja High Court on Tuesday, stalled the trial of a pastor, Emmanuel Mathew, 50, charged with the alleged rape of three minors.

Mr. Mathew, who is the General Overseer of The Choice Bible Church, Mpape, and proprietor of the primary school where his victims attended, was arraigned on a five-count charge.

The police accused him of raping two seven-year-olds and a nine-year-old pupil on different occasions in his school.

When the case was mentioned before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf on Tuesday, the prosecutor, Stanley Nwodo, informed the court that the prosecution witness, who is also the mother of one of the victims, was absent in court, due to ill health.

“My Lord, the case cannot go on as our key witness is presently having health challenges,” he said.

Mr. Nwodo also told the court that the three pupils in question are minors and applied to the court for an adjournment to also enable the judge hear the children in Chamber and not in open court.

He, therefore, prayed the court for an adjournment.

The defence counsel, Uy Yamah, objected to the prosecution’s application.

In his ruling, Justice Baba-Yusuf, granted the prosecution’s application and adjourned the matter to March 27 for the continuation of the hearing.

The offence contravenes the provisions of Section 283 of the Penal Code.

If convicted, the suspect is liable to 14 years imprisonment or fine or both.

Mr. Mathew had pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge and was also granted bail in the sum of N500, 000 and a surety in like sum.

NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call Willie - +2347088095401

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.