Uromi (Edo State) : The police in Edo have arrested a pastor who allegedly raped a 12-year-old choir member of his church at Afuda-Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of the state.

The incident incurred the wrath of some residents around the area, who destroyed some church equipment, while the pastor was detained at the Uromi Police Divisional headquarters.

Narrating her ordeal to newsmen on Thursday, the rape victim said she had gone to church for choir rehearsals when the incident occurred.

She said she and three other children were in the church, awaiting the arrival of other members, when the pastor and founder of the church drove into the premises in his Mercedes Benz car, and started enquiring about their names.

She said after they had given their names, the pastor called her into his office and asked her to sit on his laps.

While on his laps, the victim alleged that the pastor began to suck her breast and dipped his finger into her private part.

She added that she felt severe pains in her stomach, and consequently struggled to regain her freedom.

The incident, she alleged, also caused her to bleed as a result of the injuries she sustained.

The father of the victim, Mr Lawrence Okoduwa, an operator of a rental service, told newsmen that he and his family became members of the church barely two months ago.

He noted with regret that joining the church had caused him pains, because he never expected that his daughter could undergo such unfortunate experience.

Okoduwa appealed to government and the police to ensure that justice was done in the case to serve as a deterrent to other randy pastors.

He alleged that the suspect, who told him he was merely carrying out deliverance on his daughter, was arrested and later released on bail by the police.

The Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Esan North East Local Government Area chapter, Rev. Francis Okhai, confirmed that the matter had been reported to the PFN, to which the alleged rapist pastor belongs.

He said several cases of misconduct had earlier been reported against the pastor, but that it was the first time that allegation of rape was reported.

Okhai added that disciplinary action would be taken against the pastor if found wanting “in the abominable act, because  the PFN does not condone any misconduct from its members”.

He said the pastor had, however, denied the allegation when questioned by some PFN officials.

The Divisional Police headquarters at Uromi, a police officer, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the arrest of the pastor. (NAN)

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