A Gudu Upper Area Court, Abuja, on Monday remanded the parish priest of the Church of Assumption, Asokoro, Rev. Fr. Anthony Ochigbo, in police custody, for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ochigbo was arraigned on one count of rape.
It was learnt that the victim’s mother, one Grace Obong of Kuruduma village, Asokoro, Abuja, had attended a programme at the suspect’s parish with her two daughters, aged 10 and eight.
At the end of the programme, the suspect was said to have urged Obong to leave the two girls behind to spend the night with him, to which she agreed.
When she, however, returned the following day to pick them, she reportedly discovered an unusual movement from the 10-year-old.
The police prosecutor, John Ijagbemi, told the court that the victim confessed to her mother that the suspect raped her over the night.
“The mother reported the matter to the Commissioner of Police, FCT Police Command, on August 17,” he added.
Ijagbemi said the offence contravened Section 283 of the Penal Code.
The priest, however, pleaded not guilty.
His counsel, Godwin Chukwukere, applied for his bail pursuant to sections 158, 162, 163 and 164 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Chukwukere urged the court to grant him bail because he was still innocent until proven guilty.
The counsel urged the court to exercise its discretion in favour of his client, adding that the defendant was on administrative bail and would not jump bail if granted.
The prosecutor, Ijagbemi, however, opposed the application, saying that the defendant was not on administrative bail.
He urged the court to discountenance the application and remand the defendant in custody.
The Upper Area court judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, adjourned the case till August 30, 2016, for ruling.