29th July, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Government has taken over the prosecution of Bishop Felix Okpara Duruebube who was accused of defiling 16 years old girl.
The office of Rivers Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice will henceforth handle the police charges against him.
Duruebube, the founder of Mercy House Church International was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on child defilement by the Rivers Command of Nigeria Police.
Police said he defiled the teen between April 2021 and May 2022.
He is accused of committing serial sexual abuse of the teenager at RayJPE Hotel Rumuokoro, Mercy House Church branch Iwofe, and No..42A road 12 Rumuahulu, Port Harcourt.
Duruebube was also accused of forcing the minor to take an oath not to sleep with another man or tell anybody about the illegal love affair; otherwise, she would run mad and die.
The offence is punishable under section 32(1) (2) of the Child Rights Act CAP 50 Law of Rivers State, 2003.
On count two, the accused committed an offence punishable under Section 208 of the Criminal Code, CAP 37, Vol .11 Laws of Nigeria, 2004.
Duruebube pleaded not guilty.
In late June, a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Port Harcourt had remanded him at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre.
Chief Magistrate N. Anugbum adjourned the case till August 18 after Duruebube failed to fulfill bail conditions.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Rivers advised Nigerians to be careful of the religious centres they attend.
The chairperson, Mrs Adata Bio- Briggs vowed that the group would follow the matter to ensure justice prevailed.