Rev. Fr. Anthony Ochigbo, a parish priest of the Church of Assumption, Asokoro Abuja has been remanded in police custody for the alleged rape of a 10-year-old girl.
The decision was reached by a Gudu Upper Area Court, Abuja, on Monday. Ochigbo was arraigned on a one-count charge of rape.
The Judge, Umar Kagarko, adjourned the case till Aug. 30 for ruling.
Counsel to Rev. Fr. Anthony Ochigbo, Godwin Chukwukere had applied for his bail pursuant to sections 158, 162, 163 and 164 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
Chukwukere urged the court to grant the defendant bail because he was still innocent until proven otherwise.
He argued that even though the offence was not bailable, Section 162 gives the court wide powers to grant bail in cases like this.
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, John Ijagbemi, opposed the application, saying that the defendant was not given administrative bail.
Earlier, Ijagbemi had told the court that Grace Ibong of Kuruduma village, Asokoro, Abuja, reported the matter at the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, on Aug. 17.
He said after a church programme in the said church, the defendant asked the complainant to leave her 10-year-old and eight-year-old daughters to spend the night with him, which she did.
He further said when the complainant went back to the defendant’s house to pick her children, she discovered an unusual movement from her 10-year-old daughter on Aug. 15.
Ijagbemi said when the complainant asked her daughter why she was moving unusually, the victim said that the defendant forcefully had sex with the girl during the night.
He said the offence contravened Section 283 of the Penal Code.
Father Ochigbo has pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him.