Pandemonium ensued at Okwanga Street around Uselu Quarters in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State on Tuesday after a 45-year-old man, identified as Osayande Ekhator, died during a deliverance session in a Pentecostal church in the area.
Information gathered suggests that the deceased, Ekhator had been taken to the church, Hope Ministry, also known as Holy Ghost Deliverance Centre, by his relatives on Monday, due to an undisclosed ailment.
According to report, some residents heard a loud cry from the church and rushed there only to discover the lifeless body of the deceased in the church.
One of the residents, who pleaded anonymity, claimed 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, revealed that he smelt something fishy during the deliverance session when his son was thrown to the ground, with his hands and legs tied.
According to him, “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.”
However, his sister thinks otherwise, as she alleged that he was “beaten to death” by his deliverers, who had also planned to deposit his remains in a mortuary.
Responding to the allegation, the Resident Pastor of the church, Mrs. Isoken Ekundaye, said, “We don’t kill here. We don’t beat here. If they bring insane people, we heal.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Stephen Onwochei, revealed that the said pastor had been arrested while the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for investigation.