A self-styled Nigerian pastor has been put behind bars after he was charged and sentenced to 34 years in prison by a Court in the United Kingdom for sexually abusing children and women over a period of 20 years.
Sources said Prophet Michael Oluronbi carried out his attacks by persuading his victims to take part in a “spiritual bathing” ritual which he told them would “cleanse” them of evil spirits.
Giving her ruling on the case on Friday 7th March, Judge Sarah Buckingham of Birmingham Crown Court., said his case was “one of the worst cases of sexual abuse of multiple children to come before the courts” and described him as an “arrogant, selfish and vain man”.
She said the “spiritual baths” were actually designed to “fulfil his insatiable sexual appetite”.
“The children feared you and this enabled you to continue your grip,” she added, sentencing Oluronbi yesterday.
“Your offense 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.”
It appears “fear” was one of Oluronbi’s greatest weapons against his victim’s, as one of the victims said his actions made her “question if my life was worth living”.
In his defence, the accused who was pastor at a church in Birmingham, blamed his actions on the Devil. He was convicted of 15 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault. While his wife Juliana was convicted of 3 counts of aiding and abetting rape and assisting in abortions of some pregnancies. She was given a jail term of 11 years.
The prosecuting lawyer, Phil Bradley, told the jury: “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.”
Some of the victims were raped repeatedly, leading to “unwanted pregnancies and terminations”, he told the court, and he was “revered and feared by his victims, kept a vice-like grip on many of them and continued to abuse them well into adulthood.”
West Midlands Police Superintendent, Nick Walton, said “They’d be taken upstairs to the bathroom, stripped naked, sometimes wearing a red girdle – like a sash – and he would wash them down.
“On occasion he would sexually assault them, but also take them to an adjacent bedroom and subject them to sexual assaults and rape.”
Offences took place in Birmingham and London over 20 years, dating back to the 1980s.
He was arrested at Birmingham Airport while trying to leave for Nigeria — with ceremonial belongings and a sum of cash.