By Precious Igbonwelundu
IS the detained Revd Alexander Emmanuel father of his 15-year-old-daughter, Brilliant’s two babies?
This is the puzzle a DNA test is expected to unravel as the Ministry of Women Affair and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) probes the matter.
WAPA has taken custody of the bobies, their mother and her siblings. The pastor is said to be in prison custody. He was arrested by the police at the instance of WAPA, which acted following a tip off.
They all lived together with the pastor at 33, Pastor Olusola Street, Agric Bus Stop, Egan, a Lagos suburb, before WAPA came to their rescue.
The Pastor and his wife had moved into the house in 2010 but she reportedly died three weeks after they secured the accommodation. The cause of her death was said to be complication arising from child birth.
Following her death, the Pastor was raid to have resorted to locking all their nine children indoors whenever he was going out. He also allegedly sleeping with Brilliant, his first daughter, a few moths after his wife’s death.
Brilliant was said to have delivered a baby last year and another one about a month ago.
Some of their neighbours told The Nation that the pastor has been locking Brilliant indoors since then.
A neighbour said: “The last time we saw Brilliant outside was in 2011. Even when the landlord asked him about his daughter, he said she had travelled.
“We later learnt that she was locked inside the house. Whenever I am in my room, I usually hear her talking with her younger ones. I am happy that she has been rescued by WAPA, now, we sleep peacefully. The man used to disturb us with his prayers. In fact it was as though he turned his flat into a church.”
Another neighbour urged the police to dig into how the pastor disposed the body of his wife in 2010.
At some of the churches where he ministered before his arrest The Nation gathered that he was.
Israelite Camp, after the General Overseer (GO), Pastor Obahi Ebalohi, inquired about the paternity of the babies in his house.
Ebalohi, who told our reporter that he met Emmanuel through his brother in 2010, after the death of his wife, said: “I met Revd Emmanuel through his brother Francis in 2010, when he lost his wife. Francis, my former colleague, told me he has a brother in our area who just lost his wife, I joined him to visit the bereaved family and prayed for them.
“When I saw Emmanuel’s children, I wept and took it upon myself to give him financial assistance, since he told me that he has stopped going to the church where he was ministering.
“I did not ask him why and accepted him when he started coming to my church. So when my members told me he ran away from that church after he was accused of impregnating his daughter, I called him to my office and inquired.”
Obalohi said the pastor claimed that the babies were abandoned by his sister-in-law who was impregnated by an unknown man. The woman was said to have fled after delivering the baby.
“ I gave him money to take the baby back to his biological mother because rumour was making the rounds that it was his daughter’s child.
“I was disappointed when he did not adhere to my advice and stopped coming to my church after a member reported that she saw the daughter breastfeeding the baby,” he said.
At the Lord’s House of Mercy and Grace, Emmanuel Street, Egan, it was learnt that Emmanuel was not a member, nor one of their pastors.
A spokesman, who pleaded for anonymity described Emmanuel as a “freelance worshipper in the church.”
The church said it did not have his name in its record, adding that it is not interested in his problems.
Attempts to reach Francis failed, but his wife said they do not have money to bail Emmanuel.
“It was one of his children who informed us when he was arrested. We know he is in Kirikiri, but we do not have money to bail him,” she said.
WAPA’s Permanent Secretary Mrs. Risikat Akiyode said the ministry was still conducting investigation into the case.