A Pastor has been arrested after a 45-year-old man, identified as Osayande Ekhator, died during a deliverance session in a Pentecostal church in the area.
According to reports, Ekhator had been taken to the church, Hope Ministry, also known as Holy Ghost Deliverance Centre, by his relatives on Monday because he was suffering from an undisclosed ailment.
It was, however, learnt that some residents heard a loud cry from the church and rushed there only to discover the lifeless body of the deceased in the church.
Some angry youths were also said to have stormed the church and vandalised some valuable property.
One of the residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, alleged that the deceased might have hit his head against a hard object, as there were blood stains on his head.
“I think he must have hit his head somewhere. I saw blood on his head when his body was placed in a vehicle,” the resident said.
The father of the deceased, Pa Ekhator, said he had suspected that the deliverance session had gone wrong when his son was thrown to the ground, with his hands and legs tied.
He said, “They forced him and tied him as usual and threw him down. From there, they carried a bucket full of water and poured it on his body.
“The mother asked why. They said that is what they usually do; that after struggling, they wanted him to have rest and cool down. After about five minutes, she came crying that Osayande is dead.”
But the sister of the deceased alleged that he was “beaten to death” by his deliverers, who had also planned to deposit his remains in a mortuary.
The Resident Pastor of the church, Mrs. Isoken Ekundaye, denied the allegations.
“We don’t kill here. We don’t beat here. If they bring insane people, we heal,” Ekundaye said.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Stephen Onwochei, said the said pastor had been arrested while the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for investigation.