Tragedy struck yesterday on Okwanga Street around Uselu Quarters in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State following the death of a 45-year-old man, Osayande Ekhator, during a deliverance session in a church in the area.
The deceased who was suffering from an undisclosed illness was said to have been taken to the church, Hope Ministry, also known as Holy Ghost Deliverance Centre, by his family members on Monday.
DAILY POST gathered that some residents who reside around the church on hearing a loud cry from the church rushed there only to discover the deceased lying lifeless in the church.
Out of anger, some irate youths in the area invaded the church and vandalized some valuable property in the process.
According to a resident of the area, the deceased may have hit his head against a hard object, as there was 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.
Commenting on the tragedy, the father of the deceased, Pa Ekhator, noted that he suspected that the deliverance session had gone contrary to expectation when his son was thrown to the ground, with his hands and legs bound.
“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 was dead,” Pa Ekhator said.
However, sister to the deceased who was of a contrary view, claimed that the 45-year-old man in the course of the deliverance was beaten to death.
The Resident Pastor, Mrs. Isoken Ekundaye, however debunked the claims.
Ekundaye stressed, “We don’t kill here. We don’t beat here. If they bring insane people, we heal.”
Confirming the death, the State police spokesperson, Stephen Onwochei, stated that the pastor had been arrested, adding that the case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for investigation