The Anambra State government has rescued a 12-year-old girl and her two younger siblings from their father, Arinze Obiwenite, who allegedly defiled her.
Ify Obinabo, the state Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, told reporters on Saturday in Awka that the children were rescued during a raid at Abacha town in Idemili North Local Government Area on Monday, following a tip-off.
Ms Obinabo said she visited the traditional ruler of the Abacha community, Igwe Nwabunwanne Odiegwu, to notify him of the raid before taking action.
She said during the visit, Mr Odiegwu revealed that the accused, married to 11 wives, presented himself as a Christian who helped people solve their spiritual problems without knowing he had other motives.
“The traditional ruler told us he knew about Obiwenite’s alleged escapades when he accused some young boys in the community of raping his daughter.
“He was summoned to the palace on several occasions to state his case but failed to honour the royal invitation, which made the youth of the community troop to his residence but were disappointed at what they saw.
“The youth discovered that he locked up his three children in a room, including the 12-year-old girl, whom he alleged that some young men of the community had raped.
“When questioned, the daughter revealed that her father had locked them up in the room for five years and that he always had carnal knowledge of her while he fingers her two younger siblings,” she said.
The commissioner said they raided Mr Obiwenite’s residence and rescued the 12-year-old girl and her two siblings, who had been taken to the hospital for medical examination and treatment.
She assured that the children would get justice and a conducive environment for growth and proper care.
“When we raided the house, we also discovered that the accused used diabolic means to run a ministry, known as ‘Holy Trinity Healing Ministry’, where people come to get solutions to their problems.”
The commissioner said he denied the allegations, but sought the forgiveness of the traditional ruler, pleading that the matter be settled without going to court.
“Some fetish items, a hollow grave in his backyard, a paper with a long list of names of those he had killed and will kill, were discovered at his house and he was made to destroy them in the presence of the villagers.
“The accused also stated that he was married to 11 wives but does not live with any of them,” she said.
Mr Obinabo said Mr Obiwenite had been arrested by the police and transferred to the State Criminal Investigative Department in Awka.
She said Mr Obiwenite would be arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Magistrate’s Court.