The Nigeria Police, Warri Area Command in Delta, has apprehended a cleric over an alleged rape of a 19-year-old daughter of his church member in Warri.
The Area Commander of the police force, Mohammed Garba, disclosed this to journalists on Monday in Warri.
Mr Garba said the suspect, identified as Elijah Orhonigbe, a bishop, is the Founder/General Overseer, Victory Revival Fasting and Prayer Ministry in Warri.
He said the suspect was nabbed on June 5 and that he had since been in custody at the “A Division”, Warri.
The commander said the cleric was apprehended, following a complaint by the mother of the victim.
Mr Garba explained that the mother of the victim was a worshipper in the church where her daughter was allegedly molested.
Mr Garba quoted the mother of the victim as saying that the pastor said he had a dream that death was hovering over their house and that for peace to reign, she should bring her daughter for prayers and deliverance.
“The woman took the lady to the church for the pastor to conduct the prayers and deliverance.
“I think what really happened was that the pastor drugged the lady and raped her. I personally took the lady to the hospital because she was in a coma for two days.
“We had been looking for the pastor for the past two weeks. I later used my detectives to trace and get him arrested. I am charging him to court now.
“The man was nabbed on Friday and he has been in a cell. Now, I am charging him to court,” Mr Garba said.
The area commander alleged that there was evidence to prove that the pastor raped the girl.
“We have the pictures. I took the girl to the doctor and her private part was examined; so we have everything to charge the man to court,” he said.
However, in a swift reaction, the pastor denied the allegation, saying that it was not true.
“She came to church on May 20. The mother brought her for deliverance and I prayed for her in front of the altar and in the presence of three people.
“Immediately after the prayer, she left at about noon. She later came back at about 5:00 pm with policemen and some people saying this is the man that raped her,” the pastor said.
Narrating her ordeal to journalists, the victim alleged that the pastor said she had a relationship with an internet fraudster, who, he said, had used a handkerchief to wipe off her private part, with the intention to use it for rituals.
“The pastor gave me Olive oil to insert into my private part and also gave me some things to drink before asking me to undress, laid me on the mat and started having carnal knowledge of me,” she said.
Counsel to the suspect, Presley Okojie, also denied the allegation in an interview with journalists.
“It is not true; the police are still investigating the matter. My own duty is to represent my client to see how I can secure police administrative bail,” he said.
Also, counsel to the victim, Clem Omotoye, said that he was prepared to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.