A clergyman in Warri, Delta State has denied allegations against him by a young lady who claimed she was raped by him while conducting deliverance on her.
Bishop Elijah Orhonigbe who is said to be the General Overseer of the Victory Revival Fasting & Prayer Ministry is currently breathing in a police cell following his arrest by men of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, in the state during the last weekend, Naija News understands.
According to the report confirmed to newsmen on Monday (today) by the Area Commander of the NPF in Warri, ACP Mohammed Muktar Garba, the command has arrested Elijah for allegedly assaulting a 19-year-old girl whose names are withheld for security reasons.
The ACP revealed that the renowned Bishop was arrested on Friday, June 5, three weeks after the command lunch out for his arrest following a report from the victim’s mother.
Given an update on the Bishop’s alleged rape case, ACP Garba said that the victim’s mother had reported that her daughter was violated by her Church’s pastor after asking her to come for deliverance at the Church.
”She said the pastor had a dream that death was hovering in their house and for peace to reign, she should bring her daughter, Miracle for prayers (deliverance),” ACP Garba reported.
He added, “The woman brought the lady to the church pastor. I think what really happened is that the pastor drugged that lady and raped her. I personally took the lady to the hospital because she was in a coma for two(2) days. We were looking for this pastor for the past three weeks. We later traced him to where he was hiding and I got him arrested, and we are charging him to court now. This is somebody that I arrested since Friday. He has been in cell since Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today-Monday. I am charging him to court.”
“We have the pictures, we have examined the victim. I took her to the doctor. He has examined her private parts, and we have everything to charge this man to court.”
Reacting to the claims that he (the ACP) has received money from the clergy so the case can be swept under the rug, Garba said, ”I did not demand a dime from him and I will not collect a dime from him. He must face the wrath of the law.”
However, Bishop Elijah while responding to questions from newsmen denied the allegations levelled against him, saying, “I did not rape her”.
Elijah narrated his part of the story saying, “She came to church on that faithful day, the 20th of May. The mother brought her to the church for deliverance and I prayed for her in front of the altar in the presence of three people. Immediately after the prayer, she left the church. That was around to 12. She came back 5 ‘o’clock with policemen and some crowd, saying ‘this is the man.’ I did not rape her.”
On her part, the victim whose name remains undisclosed revealed that she was a member of the Bishop’s founded church when she was of younger age but avoided the worship centre at some point.
She noted that the suspect had revealed that he saw a vision concerning her and requested that her mother should bring her to the Church for deliverance. The victim confessed further that the Bishop said she had slept with a suspected internet fraudster popularly known as ‘Yahoo Boy’ and that her body part has been wiped with a handkerchief to be used for a ritual.
She claimed that olive oil was handed to her by the clergy so she could drop it in under part, adding that another was given to her to drink before the clergy proceeds to ask her to strip off her clothes while the church’s doors were closed.
She added, “He started having sex with me through the back. That was all I could remember. There was sperm all over my body. I shouted. He even said I should come again.”
“I want to be the last he will do this to,” said the young girl as she demanded justice.
Mrs Taye Edema (the victim’s mother), in her reaction, joined her daughter in demanding for justice over the alleged violation.
She said, “They didn’t give me a dime. I don’t want to collect any money. I want justice.”
Speaking on the phone with reporters, the Delta State Commissioner of Police who is said to be out of office when the case was reported said he has been informed of the incident and that the culprit will be made to face the law.
CP Mohammed Hafiz Inuwa said, “Yes, I am aware, even though I’m out of the state for official duty. I have been fully briefed by the Area Commander.”
”It’s a case of rape in which the bishop drugged the girl and raped her in the name of deliverance,” he reiterated.