A 54-year-old woman from the Ogun State of Nigeria has been arrested for operating a prostitution cartel with teenagers.
Local newspaper http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/209782-pastor-arrested-operating-underage-prostitution-cartel-inside-church.html reported that the accused, Idowu Olupinla, who also happens to be a pastor and founder of Cherubim and Seraphim Church , Ijoko Ota, in the Ogun State, was marched to the police headquarters together with a few of her victims after she has been arrested while at the church premises.
It was reported by the police that Olupinla had been arranging the girls between the ages of 14 and 19 with male clients. The police, on the church premises, rescued three of the girls.
“We are about 10 with Mama, She always arranged men for us to have sex. She created an apartment within the church premises, where the men slept with us. We charged N500 per sex in which Mama will collect N300 and give us N200. We get about N1,500 per day with Olupinla’s commission included,” said one of the victims.
The 16 year-old girl continued by reporting how a number of the victims were forced to have abortions in order to continue residing on the church premises. She went on to say how she had had 5 abortions.
Olupinla had denied all the allegations against her. Although, the Commissioner of the Nigerian Police reassured the media that Olupinla would be charged with human trafficking and child abuse.
Below are events as narrated by selected victims to Tribune:
“I followed a friend to the church because she was a member. At that time, a spiritualist who had been in trance was about to deliver visions and messages from God. After the programme, I went back home where I was staying with my friend.
“The following day, Madam Olupinla called my friend, asking to see me. When I got there, she said I should start living with her, asking whether I did not want all the good things my friends had. Since my mother was dead and I left my father a long time ago, I packed my things from my friend’s house and decided to stay with her.
“She started bringing men to sleep with me in the night, and after they must have finished, they would pay N500. The woman would collect N300 out of it and leave N200 for me. Same applied to other girls staying with her. Each of us used to have between two and three men per day. I have spent about 18 months with her.
I was there before some other girls came. I also met about nine girls there. Some of the men used to put on condoms when having sex with us but some other didn’t. Anytime we got pregnant, the woman would give us drugs to abort it.”
One day, I was in my sister’s shop helping her to sell fish when Madam Olupinla’s daughter came to tell me that a spiritualist in their church was descending from the spiritual realm. I followed her as a friend and that was how I started living with her mother. She started making me to sleep with men and it was there I lost my virginity.
In between the time I stayed there, whenever I came to my senses, I would return home. But she would call me on the phone and I would return there. Before my father’s death, he came to arrest the woman for keeping me in her house.”
“I followed my friend, Saidat, to the woman’s church and that was how I lost my virginity after I was asked to sleep with men.”
But the suspect, Madam Olupinla, who said she could not tell her age, denied ever keeping any of the girls, claiming that she did not know them. She later changed her words and said that she only knew Saidat
“Police came three times and did not see anyone in my church except me and my daughter. It was a woman who said she was looking for her daughter that went under the bridge at Sango area, Ogun State, to pick some girls who she claimed I was using as prostitutes. I don’t know the whereabouts of the woman’s daughter. She has never stayed with me. And I don’t know any of the girls; neither have I ever aborted for any of them,” she initially stated.
She later said she only knew one of them, Saidat and claimed that it was her ‘husband’ called Aroja who brought her to her church when a member who went into trance recovered to deliver spiritual messages. “She only spent about a week and left with her husband,” Madam Olupinla stated.
Speaking on how the police got to know about their plight, one of the girls, Zainab, said that problem started when a mother came looking for her daughter and Madam Olupinla denied ever seeing the girl.
“We used to see the girl living with Olupinla and when we were asked, we told the truth,” she said, adding that she was surprised to see the elderly woman denying ever having them under her roof.