The BBC, on Monday, released the first segment of a three-part investigative documentary outlining the alleged atrocities and sexual crimes committed by the late Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, widely known as TB Joshua.
Joshua passed away on June 5, 2021.
As part of the investigation, the BBC interviewed more than 25 former members and workers of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), from the UK, Nigeria, US, South Africa, Ghana, Namibia and Germany.
The investigation was carried out with international media platform Open Democracy.
The Synagogue Church of All Nations did not respond to the allegations but said previous claims have been unfounded.
SCOAN has a global following, operating a Christian TV channel called Emmanuel TV and social media networks with millions of viewers.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, tens of thousands of pilgrims from Europe, the Americas, South East Asia and Africa traveled to the church in Nigeria to witness Joshua performing “healing miracles”.
At least 150 visitors lived with him as disciples inside his compound in Lagos, sometimes for decades.
The three-part documentary exposes the covert lifestyle of the deceased SCOAN founder, detailing instances of abuse, harassment, rape, manipulation, and staged miracles.
According to BBC, its findings over a two-year investigation include:
– Dozens of eyewitness accounts of physical violence or torture carried out by Joshua, including instances of child abuse and people being whipped and chained.
– Numerous women who say they were sexually assaulted by Joshua, with a number claiming they were repeatedly raped for years inside the compound.
– Multiple allegations of forced abortions inside the church following the alleged rapes by Joshua, including one woman who says she had five terminations.
– Multiple first-hand accounts detailing how Joshua faked his “miracle healings”, which were broadcast to millions of people around the world.
The report quoted one of the victims, Rae, as saying she abandoned her degree at Brighton University in 2002 and was recruited into the church.
She spent the next 12 years as one of Joshua’s so-called “disciples” inside his maze-like concrete compound in Lagos.
The 21-year-old British woman, called Rae, said: “We all thought we were in heaven, but we were in hell, and in hell terrible things happen. I was sexually assaulted by TB Joshua and subjected to a form of solitary confinement for two years. The abuse was so severe that I attempted suicide multiple times inside the compound.”
Narrating her ordeal, Jessica Kaimu, from Namibia, said it lasted more than five years.
According to her, she was 17 when Joshua first raped her, and that subsequent instances of rape by TB Joshua led to her having five forced abortions while there.
“These were backdoor type… medical treatments that we were going through… it could have killed us,” she said.
Some witnesses in Nigeria claim they were physically attacked, after previously speaking out against the abuse and posting videos containing allegations on YouTube.
Other victims told the BBC that they were stripped and beaten with electrical cables and horse whips, and routinely denied sleep.
© BBC , Seun Adeuyi
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