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Dark clouds over refugee camp

Publish date: 04 November 2019
Issue Number: 848
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Nigeria

An evangelical pastor runs a sprawling camp billed as a refuge for thousands of children who fled the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency in northern Nigeria. Solomon Folorunsho, says he is on a self-proclaimed mission to help humanity, creating the International Christian Centre for Missions (ICCM). His camp in Benin City claims to provide accommodation, medical care and education for 4 000 children and 500 widows and missionaries, using funding from local institutions, NGOs and churches abroad. However, witnesses AFP interviewed across Nigeria paint a far darker picture of the pastor and the treatment of those in his care. All accused the pastor of physical abuse, while some said he had sexually harassed them. A report on the News24 site notes that UN children's agency UNICEF in 2016 sent an assessment team to the site which expressed ‘strong concerns regarding the possibility that Pastor Solomon may be engaged in sexual activities, or at a minimum, displaying grooming behaviours with girls in the camp’.

Full report on the News24 site