Delta State Police Command has arrested Bishop Elijah Orhonigbe for allegedly drugging and raping a 19-year-old girl during deliverance session in his church.
Bishop Orhonigbe is the Founder and General Overseer of Victory Revival Fasting and Prayer Ministry in Warri, commercial nerve centre of Delta State.
The Warri Area Commander of the Nigeria Police, ACP Mohammed Muktar Garba told newsmen on Monday, June 8, 2020, that the popular preacher was picked up on Friday June 5, following a complaint by the mother of the victim.
ACP Garba noted that the mother of the victim is a member of the church where her daughter was allegedly drugged and raped by the said Bishop. He said:
”The girl’s mother said the pastor had a dream that death is hovering in their house and for peace to reign, she should bring her daughter, Miracle for prayers (deliverance).
“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 coma for two(2) days.
“We are looking for this pastor for the past three weeks. Later on used my detectives to trace where he hide and I got him arrested and am charging him to Court now.
“This is somebody that I arrested since Friday. He has been in cell Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today Monday, I am charging him to Court.”
While noting that people tarnishing the image of good pastors, ACP Garba insisted that,”We have prophets that are good. We have churches that are very good. But I imagine a pastor raping his member inside the church premises.
“And it is this same pastor that’s making allegation that the Police are looking for money to release him. He has a right to say whatever he wants to say. But as far as am concerned and as far as I remain the Area Commander, this man is going to Court and he must be charged to Court.”
While noting that rape is an offence in the sight of the law, ACP Garba said,”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.”
ACP Garba also denied allegations of collecting money from the suspect to release him or suppress the matter.
“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,” he said.
But in a swift reaction, the suspect, Bishop Elijah Orhonigbe denied the allegations in its entirety. The cleric who spoke with newsmen on his way out of the Police Station to Court said, ”I did not rape her.”
“She came to church on that faithful day on the 20th of May. The mother brought her to the church for deliverance and I prayed for her in front of the alter in the presence of three people.
“Immediately, after the prayer, she left the church at 12. She came back 5 ‘o’ clock with policemen and crowd saying this is the man. If not, I did not rape her,” he said.
Narrating her ordeal before newsmen, the 19-year-old victim said she was a member of the church during her cradle age before she stopped. She said the suspect saw a vision and asked her mother to bring her for deliverance.
The victim pointed out that the cleric said she (victim) slept with a suspected internet fraudster (Yahoo Boy) and that they cleaned her up with a handkerchief with an intention to use her for ritual.
The victim claimed that the cleric gave her olive oil to insert in her private part just as he also gave her more to drink before asking her to strip naked and lie down on a mat in the church with the sliding windows and doors closed.
“He started fucking me through back. That was all I could remember. There were sperm all over my body. I shouted. He even said I should come again”. She is demanding for justice saying,”I want to be the last he will do this to.”
Also, in her narrative, Mother of the victim, Mrs. Taye Edema corroborated the claims of her daughter just as she demanded that justice prevails on the matter.
“They didn’t give me a dime. I don’t want to collect any money. I want justice.”, she said.
A human Right activist, Comrade Israel Joe who was also at the police station, insisted that justice must prevail on the matter.
While noting that the human right bodies in the State are not fighting the body of Christ, Joe said,”We are fighting against Antichrist not the body of Christ.
“So, we stand for justice. We want justice to be done. Rape is a criminal offence and it has been criminalized by our law and society.
“So, there is no what anybody will want to compromise the issue that has to do with rape and defilement. I am happy the Police is standing for justice.
“The press are standing for justice and collectively, we are saying No to rape and the Bishop should be taken to Court and prosecuted with all laws that has to do with rape and defilement”, he added.
When contacted, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Hafiz Inuwa confirmed the arrest of the Bishop in a telephone chat. He 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 compromised 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.”
Lawyer to the Victim’s family, Prince Clem Ade Omotoye Esq condemned the act in all its ramifications saying,”We are ready to follow the matter to its logical conclusion.”