The founder of the defunct Paul Zion Deliverance Ministry, Asaba has been arrested by the police for the alleged abduction and rape of a 21-year-old woman, Esther, in Ibusa, Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The suspect, simply identified as Paul, is accused of holding the victim captive in his shop for about one week, before he was caught on Thursday.
It is understood that Esther had attended a vigil at the Living Faith Church with her family members on Friday, January 12, when Paul allegedly hypnotised and abducted her.
Paul, after the collapse of his church, sells scriptural items in his shop opposite a parish of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (Winners Chapel) on Ibusa Road.
Family members, who searched for Esther around the church after the vigil with no success, later reported a case of missing person at the A Division of the Delta State Police Command.
A friend of the victim’s brother had reportedly gone to buy something at Paul’s shop on Thursday when he sighted her and informed the family.
Esther’s elder brother told the press that some church workers went and apprehended the suspect and held him until the police arrived.
The brother said, “We went for a vigil at our church on Friday, January 12. We could not find her after the service. My sister is a special child. She had convulsion while she was young and it affected her. She can’t read and write.
“Someone saw her at the man’s shop on Thursday and raised the alarm. When we got there, we discovered that the man had bought new clothes for her. She had been hypnotised and refused to follow us. Later, she said the man made her to swear with a Bible that she would not leave him and that if she did, she would die. He should be in his 50s.
“We learnt that he chased away his wife and children a long time ago. He sells souvenirs outside the church (Winners Chapel). The church does not have anything to do with him.”
Esther was taken to the police clinic at Asaba, and was confirmed to have been raped after tests were carried out, the brother said. The medical report indicated that the victim tested positive for “smothered labia majora/minora.”
“He calls himself an apostle. We learnt that his church was closed down. We have options to either drop the case or take him to court. For some reasons, we will not drop the case,” he added.
The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, said the police had commenced investigation into the matter.