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Court upholds seven years jail for pastor for rape, abortion

A Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the judgement of a Federal High Court in Abuja that sentenced an Abuja Pastor, Apostle Basil Princewill to seven years imprisonment for rape abortion.

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The Court of Appeal presided by Justice Stephen Adah held the appeal filed by Apostle Princewill lacked merit and was struck out.

He said:

“Having looked at the arguments in the appeal and the records as well as the evidence adduced in the case, I hold that the lower court did not do anything wrong by sentencing the appellant to seven years imprisonment.

“The appeal failed and the judgment of the lower court is hereby upheld,” Justice Adah held.

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Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court had, in a judgment, he delivered on June 25, 2019, found the pastor guilty of rape and procuring abortion for a 14-year-old girl in 2011 and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment.

In sentencing the convict, Justice Baba-Yusuf 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.

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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.

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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 to the first prosecution witness. The victim testified as to 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.

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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.

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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 who called two witnesses including himself denied raping the victim and added that 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 were rendered was discredited by the testimonies of the victim, her mother and the medical doctor that performed the abortion.

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