Delta state police command has arrested popular Warri cleric, Bishop Elijah, over alleged rape of a 19-year-old girl, identified as Miracle.
Miracle was said to have gone to his church, off Apalla in the heart of Warri South council area, for spiritual deliverance when the incident happened.
Briefing newsmen over the arrest, the Warri Area Commander, ACP Mohammed Muktar Garba, told newsmen that the suspect who is the founder/general overseer of a popular prayer ministry was traced to where he hid and arrested last Friday.
According to him, the suspect was currently being detained at the “A Division’” police station.
He disclosed that the arrest was effected following a complaint by the mother of the victim.
He said the mother took the daughter to the church for deliverance to avert sudden death based on revelations of the pastor who has been her spiritual father for many years.
ACP Garba said, “she said the pastor had a dream that death was hovering over 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 days.
“We are looking for this pastor for the past three weeks. Later on I used my detectives to trace where he hid 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 since Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today Monday, I am charging him to court.”
While noting that the police would ensure full-scale investigations into the matter, ACP Garba acknowledged that, “we have prophets that are good. We have churches that are very good. But I cannot 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 I’m concerned and as far as I remain the Area Commander, this man is going to court and he must be charged to court.”
ACP Garba added that: “We have evidence to prove rape and we have established that this pastor raped that girl.
“We have 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.
He 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, the suspect, Bishop Elijah denied the allegations leveled against him.
The cleric who spoke with newsmen on his way out of the police station to the 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 altar in the presence of three people. Immediately, after the prayer, she left the church …. She came back 5 ‘o’clock with policemen and the crowd saying this is the man. I did not rape her.”
Narrating her side of the story before newsmen, the victim said she was a member of the church from cradle 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 f**king me through the back. That was all I could remember. There were 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.”