8 more women have accused controversial Malawian Prophet, Shepherd Bushiri of rape
Court records of the extradition request South Africa sent to Malawi which were exclusively sourced by Mail & Guardian, shared a detailed account of the alleged crimes reportedly committed by the leader of one of the most popular and richest churches on the continent, Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) and his wife, Mary.
Some of the rape charges which dates back to 2016, have been added to charges of fraud, money-laundering, jumping bail and contravention of the foreign currency act that Bushiri was already facing before his escape from South Africa in November last year.
Prosecutors accused him of raping women and girls as young as 16, including two sisters; drugged some, bribed them into silence, and threatened others with murder in six years of jaw-dropping sexual violence.
All the alleged rape cases allegedly took place in and around Pretoria particularly at the Sheraton Hotel, and involve women who allege the rich prophet enticed them into hotels after befriending them and their families at church with offers of special prayers and gifts of cash.
Some of the women later were involved in what could appear to be consensual sexual relations, after Bushiri allegedly promised to marry at least one of them. But the majority, particularly those who were very young, were threatened with death by Bushiri or his bodyguards, the victims claimed. One of the victims reportedly got pregnant, but was forced to terminate the pregnancy.
It was alleged that the ECG church was used as a recruitment service for Bushiri through his network of “sons” and “prophets”. They would eavesdrop, record and engage in subtle conversations with churchgoers to collect information later used by Bushiri to lure women into sexual relations.
The court records stated that Bushiri promised to marry one of the women he raped between May 2015 and June 2016, and allegedly paid her parents substantial sums of money.
Another woman alleges that between June and July 2015, she was raped by Bushiri in his hotel room after “the prophet” took pictures of her in her underwear and in naked poses. He allegedly handed her cash.
Also sharing her experience, one of the women also alleged that she was invited into Bushiri’s hotel room and given a drink that made her dizzy. She fell to the floor, after which Bushiri allegedly took her clothes off and raped her. Another victim was allegedly impregnated and given cash to register a construction company.
The youngest of the victims who are sisters shared the most harrowing incidents. The girls say they were choristers in Bushiri’s church, and he befriended their parents before starting to text them on WhatsApp.
It was alleged that Bushiri first sent his “sons” who took the sisters and their brother to meet him under the pretence that they were going for choir rehearsals, and gave them money. During a second visit, Bushiri handed them huge amounts of cash and told them not to tell anyone. One of the girls said;
“After two weeks, my family and I met prophet Bushiri in his church after the evening service that ended at 11pm.
“My parents and I were very excited to meet with the prophet and his wife, prophetess Mary Bushiri. Prophet Bushiri told my parents he wanted to sponsor my sister and me to start recording at his studio in Sandton [Johannesburg] and that he was going to be our spiritual father.”
They claim to have met him in July 2016 at the Southern Sun Hotel in Arcadia, Pretoria.
A man named “Aubrey” who appeared numerous times in the court papers as one of the people scouting women for Bushiri, was reportedly sent to pick up the young women from their home where they were with their mother.
On being informed by his daughters that Bushiri had sent for them, their father was unhappy but Aubrey spoke to him on the phone and he consented to the arrangement.
At the hotel, Bushiri allegedly kept the sisters in separate rooms, where he later prayed for them and gave them cash. He allegedly gave one of the sisters and the brother R5, 000 each. The other sister told prosecutors she was paid R10, 000.
A second meeting took place at the Sheraton Hotel, where Bushiri allegedly gave the siblings R20, 000 in January 2017. Bushiri invited one of the sisters to the Sheraton. She was taken to one of the upper floors by Aubrey who left promptly.
“Usually, Aubrey and one or two bodyguards are always in the suite, but that day they were not there. Prophet Bushiri came from the bathroom. He greeted me and asked me how everything was. I told him everything was fine. He told me he would pray for me to get distinctions and open doors of blessings in my life.
“When praying for me … he started to touch my body and private parts. I started to push his hand away. He continued to touch me. I asked him to stop. I screamed. I was wearing a long dress. He used force to pull me to the bed. He pulled my underwear and threw it away.
“I was screaming all the time. He put his hand over my mouth and nose. I was fighting back. He overpowered me. He put his penis inside my vagina and … raped me. I kept screaming and crying because it was extremely painful because I was a virgin. He continued raping me, and I was screaming, fighting and crying. When he finished, he stopped. I noticed drops of blood coming from my vagina.”
After the rape, the victim who was 18 at that time alleged that Bushiri threatened to kill her if she reported the incident or told anyone, and gave her R10, 000. In June 2018, her sister told her Bushiri had raped her too and that’s when the two sisters agreed to report the incidents to their parents.
Bushiris’ extradition trial is expected to start in earnest in Malawi courts next week after chief resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa refused to recuse himself. Bushiri’s lawyers had objected to his handling of the case, citing possible bias because of the magistrate’s involvement in issuing the warrant of arrest police used to arrest the Bushiris.
I started singing from my mother’s womb — Odumeje
Popular Onitsha-based cleric and self-acclaimed lion, Prophet Chukwuemeka Odumeje, who opened up on how he acquired his spiritual powers as published yesterday, in Vanguard, has also revealed how he got the gift of singing.
According to the controversial pastor, he started singing in his mother’s womb.
“I started singing in my mother’s womb,” he said.
He added: “What I possess is a full calling. Everything was given to me so that nobody can brag for me.
“When I’m on the pulpit, I sing the songs that can move me into action. I don’t need anybody to sing for me.”
Odumeje, who has released many songs in recent times, said singing moves him into action.
One of his songs, titled ‘Umu Jesus’,” featuring Ijele Flavour, is still receiving massive airplay.
So also is his highlife-christened track, ‘Great is My God’, featuring Phyno.
‘Umu Jesus’ was produced by multiple award-winning music producer, Mastercraft, and was released on August 21, 2020. His previous released single “Alabasidi” is still gaining more downloads on different digital platforms.
Other songs, include, ‘Iron Like a Lion in the Zion’, ‘Oku Na Ele Ele’, ‘Odomi Na Welete’. ‘Jesus Odumeje’, ‘Ogini Sele Muna Chukwu’ and ‘Iga Egbu Nwa Intervention’.
According to him, he writes his songs, and most times, prays to God to give me an inspiration for a special song that will move mountains.
Odumeje said his mission on earth is to make people know that Jesus will do everything for them.
Speaking in Igbo, the self-acclaimed lion, said Odumeje means Jesus is my leader.
“It is just like saying Jesus is the one leading me. As they call Gozie Okeke, ‘Akanchawa.’ Gozie is not ‘Akanchawa’ but Jesus is.”
“That’s what my music is all about. My music is designed to make people know everything about Jesus,” said the cleric who is more popular among celebrities.
Buhari has good intentions but incapacitated —Primate Ayodele
According to him, “President Buhari has good intentions for Nigeria but he is held down by a cabal whose dictates he cannot fight. This is unfortunate but it is truth. This cabal has held him down for a long time and he is performing abysmally. He is incapacitated.
“Insecurity is going to bring Nigeria down. These new service chiefs must act fast so that they can leave a good name behind. There is corruption in the military. That is why they are killing our soldiers anyhow. There is too much blood in our country. The blood of the innocent is crying for justice. We are being deceived. Police brutality will continue. The new IG must carry out reforms. The current security challenges are the product of the self-centred nature of some politicians and clerics. Because of the president’s many disadvantages, these politicians, clerics and individuals are having a field day.
“Terrorism is everywhere. They want to strike in Lagos. Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo should be careful. These states are under terrorist watch. Rivers, Benue also should be careful. The governor of Lagos State must wake up quickly. They can strike any moment. The police commissioner of Lagos should be given an extension so as to properly manage the situation on ground in Lagos State.”
Fiery prophet and senior cleric of Inri Evangelical Spiritual Church with headquarters in Lagos State, Primate Elijah Ayodele, described Nigeria’s President Muhammadu made this observation in an interaction with Sunday Tribune.
‘It’s Immoral’ — Oyedepo Says He Won’t Take COVID-19 Vaccine
“I have never seen a generation where you force people to take vaccines. It is inhuman; it is immoral sir. I’m not a lawyer but I don’t think it is legal. You can’t come to my house and want to give me injection,” Oyedepo said.
“On what? Did I invite you? They are confused. But the church has the answer. Did you see any outbreak of virus here? How will it enter the gate? Will it come through the air? How? One woman just got down after that injection in Kaduna. What kind of life? Are human beings now turned to guinea pigs?
“The world is confused but the church is lighted. So the triumph of the church will humble the pride of the world. They don’t know what to do sir. In the last days, the church will be reigning in power and glory. That is God’s agenda.
“No apologies. There is a big, big bird in our land, saying “don’t take it, they are deceivers. Let me see someone who will come and inject me. By who? Are you going to tie my hands. How? Did I invite you? I know you are quiet, you will hear more of it. My job is to expose the devil and tell his agents “get off, we are not guinea pigs.”
General overseer of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo made this known while speaking on Saturday during his church’s Hour of Prayer service.
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