BY VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA — THE National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has stepped into a case of alleged duping of a house wife, Mrs. Maryrose Okeke Ozude, by Pastor Samson Otis of Rhema Deliverance Ministry, Abagana in Anambra State.
The pastor allegedly tricked the woman into bringing her car to him as bait for his prayers that would facilitate the release of her husband serving a jail term abroad.
The intervention of the commission followed a petition by Mrs. Ozude alleging that her life in danger as a result of threats by the pastor and one Chinyere Nwama because she had demanded her car back since her husband did not return as promised by the pastor.
In the petition, Ozude, also a nursing student said her ordeal with the pastor began when a lady, Miss Nwama, who was preaching in a public bus while she was travelling to Awka. Nwama, she said, later introduced her to Rhema Ministry where she met Pastor Otis.
Ozude said: “At the church, Nwama told me that if I wanted to see the pastor expressly, I had to pay N3000, or I should pay N200 and be on the queue. I chose to pay N3000 because of my husband’s problem.
“The pastor raised his hand on my forehead and said some prayers and then told me it is settled. He told me to go and bring a car he was seeing in my compound immediately with its original particulars and with my husband’s picture, with strict warning never to let anybody hear what he ordered me to do.
“He told me that once I brought the car to him, I would see my husband before 20th August, 2012, but that if I did not see him, I should come and take the car back.
“I drove the car to Rhema Ministry before 12pm on 30th May, 2012 as he instructed me and handed him the particulars inside his office in the presence of Nwama.
“When I went back to him on June 18, 2013 to take my car back since I did not see my husband as he assured me, Pastor Otis laughed and told me that it was impossible. He said I cannot even see the car, not to talk of having it back.
“What surprised me was that he asked me to name the price of the car and when I told him that I did not come there to sell my car, or to give it out as an offering to the pastor, he told me that I did not know the implication of what I was saying.
“He threatened to deal with me even if I eventually have the car back and that I will not live to drive it again. I then left in tears, bitterness, agony and sorrow.”
Ozude said that following the development, she reported the matter to the Abagana Police Station and the police is said to be on the pastor’s trail.
AnambraState coordinator of National Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Nkechi Ofong told Vanguard that the commission is investigating the matter with a view to ensuring that justice was done.