Sun Apr 23 07:38:51 SAST 2017

Nigerian pastor accused of sexual assault hires a lawyer

By Bongani Mthethwa | 2017-04-20 11:18:29.0

A controversial Nigerian pastor accused of sexually molesting young gilrs has hired prominent Port Elizabeth defence attorney Alwyn Griebenow to represent him.

Griebenow confirmed that he was the pastor’s attorney and that he and defence advocate Terry Price will be meeting with the Hawks on Thursday afternoon in Port Elizabeth.

 The Hawks are investigating the allegations against the pastor who cannot be named until he has formally been charged and entered a plea in court.

The pastor is accused of molesting more than 30 young girls on the pretext of rescuing them from drugs.

The Nigerian evangelist came under scrutiny after his church featured on current affairs programme Special Assignment on Sunday. The programme spoke to women who claimed that they were lured into performing sexual favours for the pastor.

Griebenow‚ one of Port Elizabeth’s foremost defence attorneys‚ represented the second suspect accused of involvement in the murder of teacher Jayde Panayiotou‚ who was found shot dead after being kidnapped outside her townhouse in 2015.

Griebenow has represented some high-profile cases‚ such as defending serial killer Stewart “Boetie Boer” Wilkens‚ who was charged with 10 counts of murder and five counts of sodomy in 1997. He also represented a group of alleged mercenaries who were held in Zimbabwe on suspicion of being involved in a planned coup in Equatorial Guinea.

There was speculation that the pastor might hand himself over to the Hawks in Port Elizabeth on Thursday afternoon‚ but this could not be confirmed.

Griebenow said his client was only meeting with police.

“He is not planning to hand himself over. The police have not indicated that there is a warrant of arrest. He will meet with them later but it is only an interview‚” Griebenow told HeraldLIVE.