An Abuja-based pastor, Apostle Basil Princewill, who raped and procured abortion for a 14-year-old girl in 2011, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
In sentencing the convict, the trial judge, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court in Maitama, held that the commission of rape was bad enough, “but it became more worrisome when the convict was someone looked upon as a man next to God”.
He held that the convict’s action was a desecration of the house of God and an act capable of destroying the life of the victim.
The judge added that he hoped the convict would use the four walls of the prison to become a born again.
Justice Baba-Yusuf thereafter sentenced Princewill to seven years imprisonment for the offence of rape and five years for the offence of attempting to carry out miscarriage on the victim.
The judge however, discharged and acquitted him on two other counts; that of impersonation and abetting miscarriage.
While reviewing the evidence before the court, the judge said he was impressed with the testimonies of first, second and third prosecution witnesses. Mrs. Ngozi Offor, the mother of the victim had testified as the first prosecution witness. The victim testified as the second prosecution witness. Called as the third prosecution witness was the medical doctor that eventually carried out the abortion after the drugs administered by the convict had led to bleeding for the victim.
The court was told that Princewill, who was then 33-years-old, forcefully had sexual intercourse with the victim between July 27 and December 31, 2011 at Mountain Mover Ministry International and his house both at Nyanya, Abuja, without her consent and got her pregnant.
The court heard that Princewill slept with the victim under the guise that he was carrying out deliverance on her and threatened to kill her should she tell anyone.
He subsequently gave her Postinor tablet and alcohol with the intention of aborting the pregnancy for her.
Thereafter, he falsely personated to be the father of the girl when he took her to a medical centre to procure abortion for her.
The case was filed by the police on June 4, 2012 with the prosecution closing its case on December 9, 2016 after calling five witnesses to prove its case.
The convict called two witnesses including himself. He denied raping the victim. He said he only paid the hospital bills for the victim after he was told that the son of a senior pastor in his church raped her.
However, the court held that his story that he merely paid the hospital bills without asking what services was rendered was discredited by the testimonies of the victim, her mother and the medical doctor that performed the abortion.