Policemen at the Warri Area Command in Delta state, on Monday, arraigned the Founder/General Overseer of Victory Revival Fasting and Prayer Ministry, Bishop Elijah Orhonigbe, for allegedly raping a 19 year old girl, name withheld, within his church hall in Warri.
It was gathered that the incident occurred on Wednesday, May 20, during a deliverance session inside the church hall.
The 19-year old was said to have been drugged by the suspect.
But the popular cleric, who was reportedly evading arrest since the day of the incident, was nabbed last Friday, June 5, by a team of police officers from the Area Command, Warri.
The Commander, ACP Mohammed Garba, told newsmen that the cleric was arrested following a complaint by the mother of the victim.
ACP Garba explained that the mother is a member of the church where the girl was allegedly raped.
He assured that examinations carried on the victim showed evidence of rape.
“She said the pastor had a dream that death is hovering in their house and for peace to reign, she should bring her daughter for prayers. And the woman took the lady to the church.
“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 coma for two days.
“We looked for this pastor for the past two weeks. Later on, I used my detectives to trace where he hid. I got him arrested and I am charging him to Court now.
“We have evidence to prove rape and we have established that this pastor has raped that girl. We have the pictures. We have examined her. I took her to the doctor. He has examined her private parts and we have everything to charge this man to Court,” Garba said.
He also disputed claims by the suspect that the Police is seeking bribe for his release, adding, “he has a right to say whatever he wants to say. 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.”
But Bishop Orhonigbe, while on his way to Court, denied raping the victim, stating thus: “she came to church on that fateful day, May 20. The mother brought her to the church for deliverance and I prayed for her in front of the altar in the presence of three persons.
“Immediately after the prayer, she left the church around 12. She came back 5 o’ clock with policemen and crowd saying ‘this is the man’. If not, I did not rape her.”
Narrating her ordeal to newsmen, the victim said the suspect had asked her mother to bring her for deliverance following a vision that she slept with an internet fraudster, who cleaned her up with a handkerchief, with the intention to use her for ritual.
She claimed that the cleric gave her olive oil to drink and some to apply on her private part, before asking her to strip naked and lie down on a mat in the church.
“He started making love to me from 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,” she stated, demanding for justice.
Mother of the victim, Mrs. Taye Edema corroborated the claims of her daughter, also demanding justice on the matter.
The Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Hafiz Inuwa confirmed the development.
Inuwa said, “Yes, I am aware even though out of the state on official duties. I have been fully briefed by the Area Commander. It’s a case of rape in which the bishop drugged the girl in the pretext of deliverance, when he thereafter, raped her.
“All efforts to make the Police compromise on the case hit a brick wall because the law of this country is not a respecter of anyone. We remain resolute to be just in our investigation.”