A report reaching CRACO from Benue State has it that a Catholic Priest impregnated a 14-year old girl.
The suspect is the Parish Priest at St. Christopher Catholic Mission, Nanev, Mbawar, Adikpo, kwande LGA, Benue state at the time this incident took place. The victim was a female Mass Servant at the mission. It was alleged that one day after the evening mass, the suspect whose named is Rev. Father Nicholas Ashir asked the 14-year old girl (whose name we shall not disclose) to wait behind and prepare a meal for him. By the time she could finish doing that, it was late and he offered her a room to sleep in. Late at night, the Priest visited the room and found the girl awake because she was afraid to sleep on the bed in a strange room. It was then the priest, Rev. Father Nicolas Ashir cajoled her to lie down and then had sex with her. The girl stated that from then, she became the Priest’s sex object until she discovered she was pregnant in October, 2018. She is six months pregnant.
We were informed that at the moment, the priest has been suspended, while investigative panel has been set up by the church. The Parents of the girl want justice but are presently handicapped as we learnt police is requesting for money to arrest the Priest. We were also informed that a particular Lawyer/Activist (who wants to remain anonymous for now) has taken it upon herself to ensure that this Priest does not escape prosecution, and that the girl and her parents gets justice. However, the Activist seen to be encountering some obstacles here and there, especially in getting the Police to do their work, hence the attention of CRACO was drawn to this case. We are sensing that the Priest who is well connected by virtue of his position in the society is making efforts to suppress this matter, haven denied being responsible for the girl’s pregnancy, but the 14-year old girl certainly knows who impregnated her.
We have contacted the Lawyer/Activist who is presently pushing this matter in Benue state, and she said the Police is still investigating, but not much has been seen. At this point, we deem it fit to take this matter outside the confines of the Church, the girl’s parents, the Police in Benue State, and the Lawyer and bring it to the knowledge of Nigerians and members of the Civil Society. It is our collective responsibility to protect the younger generation, particularly the girl child. We must raise our voices against this ugly development of defilement and rape of minors by some irresponsible men in the society, and this becomes more worrisome when it is done by people who these children place so much trust like Catholic Priests and Pastors. We must raise our voices to condemn this, and share this post so that it gets to the attention of the Governor of Benue State, The Commissioner of Police, Benue State, the Inspector General of Police, Commissioners for Women Affairs, and every other constituted authority that needs to know about this and take action. It was a lecturer in the case of Ochanya, now it is a Catholic Priest – in the same Benue State. We must all unite to SAY NO to the prevalence of Child Sexual abuse, defilement and rape of little girls in our society. Please add your voice in seeking Justice for this little girl by SHARING this post. The Lawyer/Activist in Benue State who is pushing this matter informed us that the biggest challenge she is having is finance, as that is the only way to move the Police to act, and also the only means of prosecuting this matter effectively. We also call on all good people of Nigeria who have the protection of the girl child at heart, and who can support this cause to do so. Kindly contact us, and we shall connect you with the activist in Benue State, to find out how you can support. The fight against child sexual abuse is a battle we must win.