Nigeria Self-styled prophet Michael Oluronbi a 60-year-old Cherubim and Seraphim pastor based in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, was found guilty of the offences against six women and a man – five of whom attended his church.
His wife, Juliana Oluronbi, was also convicted of two counts of aiding and abetting the rape of a child and one count of aiding and abetting the rape of an adult. They face scores of years in jail when sentencing is carried out in a few weeks.
The setting began on Gillott Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham in the 1980s where Oluronbi worshiped at the Cherubim and Seraphim Church of God Ayo ni o Edgbaston parish, United Kingdom which is now closed. The church was run by his future wife- Juliana Fasoranti’s parents.
In a confession videoed last year by a victim’s family member Oluronbi claims the devil made him commit his terrible crimes and described himself as ‘an animal’.
The offending happened at various locations, going back to the 1980s. Some of his offences were carried out after he convinced victims to take part in ‘spiritual bathing’, which he claimed would ‘cleanse’ them of evil spirits. He was convicted on Friday after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, and his offending can now be reported after restrictions were lifted.
In 1989, Oluronbi, now 61, decided to lead a breakaway faction of about 40 to set up another splinter group of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church of God. The breakaway church was never formally registered but continued to observe some of the customs of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church and to celebrate its anniversaries.
During the trial, a jury heard that some of Oluronbi’s young female victims became pregnant multiple times but were taken to abortion clinics by qualified pharmacist, to cover up what was happening.
According to court papers, five of the seven victims are siblings who were abused at their home address where the church conducted services.
The prosecutors told the court that Oluronbi hid under the guise of carrying out deliverance and spiritual works on his victims, male and females, to sexually assault them.
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.
The prosecutors told the court that police investigations showed that his wife, Juliana Oluronbi, gave her unwavering support to her husband and particularly arranged abortions whenever any of the victims got pregnant by her husband.
Oluronbi was arrested at Birmingham Airport in May last year, while trying to leave the country for Nigeria with some of his belongings and a sum of cash. Police are unable to determine whether he was trying to flee justice, but pointed out he had recently been confronted about the abuse by one of his victims.
According to Dailymail, The offences took place in Birmingham and London.
Phil Bradley QC, prosecuting, told the jury: ‘The Crown’s case is that Mr Oluronbi used what he called ‘spiritual work’ as a subterfuge for that sexual abuse.
‘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.