Delta cleric charged with alleged rape as victim narrates sexual encounter

The Founder/General Overseer of Victory Revival Fasting and Prayer Ministry, Bishop Elijah Orhonigbe, was on Monday in Warri, Delta State arraigned in court for the alleged rape of a teenage girl in the church auditorium.

The nineteen-year-old girl (name withheld) was allegedly raped during a private deliverance session on May 20 in the church auditorium in Warri after she was allegedly drugged by the cleric.

The victim, who narrated her ordeal on Monday to journalists, said the suspect had asked her mother to bring her for a deliverance session following a frightening vision that she slept with an internet fraudster, who cleaned her up with a handkerchief for ritual purpose.

She said when she got to the church, which she had stopped attending for some reasons before then, the cleric gave her a bottle of olive oil to drink from and also asked her to anoint her private part herself.

Thereafter, the bishop asked her to undress and lie on a mat in the church auditorium after which the man of God closed the slide door and louvre and began to have carnal knowledge of her.

“He started making love to me from the back. That was all I could remember. There was semen 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 quipped.

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Distraught mother of the victim, Mrs Taye Edema, also corroborated the claims of her daughter, saying her daughter was raped and demanded justice.

On his part, embattled Bishop Orhonigbe, who’s now cooling off at the police cell in A Division, Warri, denied the allegation before journalists while he was being taken to the court.

According to him, “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 noon. She came back at 5 o’clock with policemen and a crowd, saying ‘this is the man’. If not, I did not rape her.”

Police authorities at the Warri Area Command, however, accused the suspect of evading arrest since the incident occurred on May 20 until he was eventually apprehended Friday, June 5.

Speaking on the incident, the Warri Area Commander, ACP Mohammed Garba, said the arrest of the suspect was informed by the complaint brought by the victim’s mother who’s also a member of the church.

He said medical investigation carried out on the girl after the alleged rape saga corroborated the veracity of the incident.

“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 a 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 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 insisted.

Meanwhile, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Hafiz Inuwa, who also confirmed the development, described the case as that of suspected druggery and rape against the cleric, adding that justice would be served appropriately.

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