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Pastor And Wife Jailed 34 Years For Rape Of Church Members

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Pastor And Wife Jailed 34 Years For Rape Of Church Members

Michael Oluronbi, a Nigerian pastor, and his wife Juliana were sentenced to 34 years in prison in the UK after being found guilty of sexual offences against six women and one man.

He tortured children and adults for over 20 years after persuading them to engage in “spiritual bathing to cleanse themselves of evil spirits.”

Olurnobi received a 34-year prison sentence for serial rapes of members of his flock.

He was convicted of “fifteen counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault and at least 88 separate occasions on which he raped his victims.”

Birmingham Crown Court heard that some of the victims fell pregnant many times, but Olurnobi would take them to abortion clinics to cover up the abuse.

His wife was imprisoned for 11 years on three counts of aiding and abetting rape after she helped Olurnobi arrange abortions for the victims.

Read Also: EFCC Arrests Pastor For N1.3bn Fake Grants And Money Laundering

Both defendants will be obliged to sign the s*x offender registry for the rest of their lives. Oluronbi was associated with the Cherubim and Seraphim congregation, a Christian congregation in Edgbaston, Birmingham, with Nigerian roots.

The pastor established his own splinter organisation at another place, from which he began the “spiritual bathing.”

The jury was told how the incidents occurred in Birmingham and London.

Sentencing “arrogant” Oluronbi on Friday, Judge Buckingham said: “You claimed that God was instructing you to conduct holy baths. Its real purpose was to fulfil your insatiable sexual appetite. The children feared you and this enabled you to continue your grip. Your offending has had an extreme and severe impact on all of your complainants. Any attempt to suggest otherwise would be without foundation. You abused your position of trust – they trusted you like God.”

The judge continued: “You did this because you are an arrogant, selfish and vain man. In my judgment, your offending must be one of the worst cases of sexual abuse of multiple children to come before the courts.”

When confronted about his offences, Oluronbi said “The devil made me do it”.

Phil Bradley QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “The Crown’s case is that Mr Oluronbi used what he called ‘spiritual work’ as a subterfuge for that sexual abuse. The main tactic he employed was to claim that God had instructed him to administer ‘holy baths’ to some of his congregation in order to ‘cleanse’ them and protect them from evil influences. That activity began when his victims were children. There can be no doubt that its real purpose was to serve his sexual gratification.”

He added that for some of the female victims the offending “progressed to repeated rapes, on many occasions leading to unwanted pregnancies and terminations.”

“You will learn that this man, who was revered and feared by his victims, kept a vice-like grip on many of them and continued to abuse them well into adulthood.”

The victims referred to him as “controlling” and “almost like a king.”

Oluronbi was arrested at Birmingham Airport in May 2023 while attempting to depart the UK for Nigeria.

A Gentle Reminder: Every obstacle is a stepping stone, every morning; a chance to go again, and those little steps take you closer to your dream.

Nnamdi Okoli

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