By AYV Court reporter, Mohamed Kai
The statement of the offence disclosed that Prophet Bankole is facing one charge of Sexual Penetration of a Child contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act of 2012 of the laws of Sierra Leone.
In his testimony to the court, the prosecuting witness who is also the victim’s father, Michael Bangura, told the court he recognised the accused person and recalled between February 1 and October 1, 2015.
The witness further disclosed that between the above-stated dates, his daughter (name withheld) was taken to the Christ Wonder International Gospel Ministry for a spiritual deliverance to be done her as she was facing frequent demonic attacks.
According to him, on their arrival at the church along with his wife, Prophet Bankole was introduced to them as the prophet in charge. He said he explained to him the frequent demonic attacks facing the victim, and that the accused person willingly opted for the victim to stay with him and even took responsibility of her schooling.
He further disclosed that at one particular occasion, the victim visited her mother and when a routine test was done on her, they observed that she has lost her virginity and was pregnant.
He went on to inform the court that when they investigated the victim, he said she confessed that Prophet Emmanuel Oluseji Bankole deflowered her on a plain white cloth at the Circular Road Cemetery in Central Freetown. He said his daughter said at the end of the exercise, the accused person instructed her to dump the stained white cloth at the Aberdeen Beach in west of the city.
The victim’s father also informed the court that despite the revelation by his daughter, they allowed the victim to still continue to seek spiritual deliverance from Prophet Bankole. He said the accused person later asked them to take the victim back home, as he was encountering some problem with her.
The witness said his wife and her relatives observed unusual pregnancy-related signs on his daughter. He said when they conducted the second test, they realised she was pregnant; adding that the victim confessed that Prophet Bankole impregnated her.
He said when they contacted Prophet Emmanuel Bankole at his residence in respect of the allegation, he said the accused person responded in the affirmative and gave the victim’s mother one hundred thousand Leones to abort the pregnancy at the Marie Stopes Clinic.
The witness told the court that the matter was resolved at domestic level and since the victim was still being haunted by the demonic attacks, they agreed to send her back to Prophet Bankole to continue her prayer service, but that the accused person later returned the victim after spending some considerable period of time with her.
He said, they later on approached Pastor John Kanu, who started to perform some spiritual deliverance on the victim but in the process, observed that the victim is holding on to a demonic power, about which she must make a confession.
He explained that following pressure on the victim, she confessed that she is married to Prophet Emmanuel Oluseji Bankole and has a spiritual wedding ring on her finger.
“On one particular occasion, I contacted my daughter on phone and she told me that she was together with Prophet Bankole at the Ascension Town Cemetery. When I went there, I saw my daughter right in the middle of the cemetery. When I enquired on Prophet Bankole’s whereabouts, she pointed at an open area to show me the accused person, but I could not see him visually”, the witnessed said.
He further said that on their arrival home, they forced the victim to explain the nature of the spiritual wedding ring and she confessed that it was given to her by the accused person. He explained the victim disclosed to him that Prophet Bankole had sex with her three times at the Circular Road, Kingtom and Ascension Town Cemeteries in Freetown; and that all the white cloths used in the encounters were dumped at the Aberdeen Beach.
The witness concluded that while the victim was attending the spiritual deliverance church service with Pasto John Conteh, they observed that she is pregnant and when they enquired from her, he said she confessed that Prophet Emmanuel Bankole impregnated her.
As a result of this, he said his wife including himself went to the accused residence demanding explanation, but that the accused was very impolite and aggressive and even threatened that if their daughter did not desist from accusing him of impregnating her, he would make her life miserable on earth.
He concluded that they reported the matter at the Central Police Division and statement was obtained from him, the victim and her mother in respect of the matter before the court.