Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pastor accused of raping minors at orphanage in Akute

From Punch

A pastor and director of Light of Hope Orphanage at Akute, Ogun State, identified simply as Mr. Atunde, was on Wednesday arrested by policemen from Zone 2 Command, Onikan, Lagos State for allegedly raping two minors at his orphanage.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Zone 2 began investigating Atunde after receiving a petition from Project Alert against him.
Project Alert, a non-governmental organisation, said the petition was prompted by a teacher of the school which the minors attended.

One of the minors (name withheld) had allegedly showed up at school in March with blood dripping down her legs.

When questioned by school officials, the minor claimed that Atunde had had sex with her.

Project Alert programme officer, Tobi Asekun, said, “It was the school that brought the case to us. This is not the first time that we have received complaints against Tunde’s activities.

“Last year, one of his neighbours came to us making the same complaints but no one could take action because we needed his victims to confirm the claim.

“So when this case was brought to our attention, we wrote a petition to Zone 2 command,”

It was learnt that plain-clothes officers from Zone 2 had visited the school and spoken with the minors who are aged 13 and 14 years before picking up Atunde from the orphanage which also doubles as his family home.

The orphanage, a large one-storey building housing about 12 rooms, is said to have been functioning since 1996.

Currently about 22 children live at the orphanage, most of whom were male and female minors.

Another 11 orphans were said to be running various programmes in a private University with their expenses being paid by the orphanage.

A total of 79 children are allegedly being cared for by the orphanage, which is registered with the Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs.

The Zone’s Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Balogun, confirmed Atunde’s arrest.

He said, “Atunde has been arrested. We will have more details by tomorrow.”

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