PHOTONEWS : Protest At An Ogun State Orphanage Over Pastor's Rape Allegations

Civil Society activists disrupted the opening address of a new orphanage home, Light Of Hope, in Ogun State today.  

They claim the Pastor who runs the orphanage, Mr. Olutayo Atunde, is facing rape allegations, and he is without a license to operate.

At the opening, protestors confronted the Pastor's daughter, Ms. Hannah Atunde, whom first denied knowledge of the orphanage but when recognized as its administrator, was silent according to a witness.

Another source said when Pastor Atunde arrived in his car, he hid in the rear seat, and invited guests seeing the protestors left.

A source said protesters warned parents and guardians to keep their children and wards away from the site, and they've called on the Federal and State Government to close up the orphanage and take care of the children until the case against Pastor Atunde is concluded.

The new orphanage is located at 4/6, Ifesowapo Street, Akute-Ijoke Road, Ogun State.

According to previous reports, Pastor Atunde’s orphanage had been operating since 1996, but only approached the Ogun State Government in 2012 for registration. 

The orphanage was denied registration by the State on the ground that it was not needed.

Allegations by two teenage girls from his orphanage that Atunde had repeatedly raped them over several years, led to his arrest by police in April 2013.

A medical report by a doctor, Mr. Somoye at the LASUTH, who examined the teenagers, confirmed their hymens were broken and they had contracted pelvic infections through forceful penetration.  

Following the arrest, the girls were handed over to an NGO - Project Alert on Violence Against Women, but eventually returned the orphanage.  

The Ogun State Government said the victims had requested to be returned.

Atunde was arraigned at the Ota magistrate court on four counts, and remanded in Ibara, Abeokuta prison, and the case adjourned until May 30, 2013 and he released on bail.

At the protest today a source told Saharareporters at the former site of the orphanage Pastor Atunde also sexually assaulted grown-up women taking their babies into the orphanage, and is also said to have slept with their young daughters as they grow up.

Another source said Pastor Atunde has powerful connections in the Ogun State Government, a reason protesters said he may have secured his freedom and absented himself from the court in his case.

The Ogun State Government, a source said, didn't interfere with the Pastor's plans to relocate the orphanage.





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