Confusion is presently playing out between the family of Pa Ohelimo Joseph from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and his son in-law Pastor Uchenna Joseph, who hails from the same town, over alleged plans by the pastor to sacrifice their daughter Patience for ritual purposes.
Pastor Joseph and Patience were said to have had their wedding introduction in 2014 and were planning for a church wedding when the wife got pregnant and gave birth to a boy about seven months ago which has put the wedding plans on hold.
But with the present happenings in the family, the couple may have to go their separate ways to give peace a chance.
This is because Patience has come out openly to say that her spouse was instrumental to the torture she received from a five-man team who after gang-raping her, also attempted to kill her for ritual purposes. However, the cleric has debunked the allegation describing it as a conspiracy and a ploy to get unnecessary attention from members of the public as he was yet to complete the required money meant to pay as dowry on his wife.
Vanguard gathered that the cleric was a spiritual guardian to one of his in-laws Mrs Martins Chinyenren until their relationship turned sour over the allegation by Patience about her husband’s misdemeanor.
According to Mrs. Martins, the couple travelled to Port Hacourt three months ago against the wish of Patience’s parents to visit a pastor friend, Quintus David who was the pastor of a church at No 2, Nwigwe Close, Mercy Land Port Harcourt but after a long stay, they also tried to assist in the growth of the ministry. Along the line, there was communication gap between Patience and her family as she was no longer in touch with them.
According to Mrs Chinyenren, she got a distress call from Patience one day claiming she had been subjected to inhuman treatment by her husband and his friends and sent the church address in Port Harcourt requesting her to come immediately to her rescue before it was too late.
She traced the church address to a room apartment where she met her sister half dead and she raised the alarm which is presently generating controversies in the families. It was gathered that Patience and son were returned to Ilisan Remo for medical attention after which the matter was lodged at Ilisan Remo Police Division for investigations but the family is presently accusing the Nigeria Police Force of handling the matter with levity.
However, a source at the Division who pleaded anonymity said the Police was conducting a thorough investigation on the case. ‘’The matter is more of a family issue and the Pastor has been granted bail but we are doing our best to unravel the situation”, the police source said.
With scars all over her body, Patience was, as at last Monday, still undergoing treatment at a private home and battling to regain her health. With much effort, she narrated her journey into the marriage saying she was tortured, gang-raped and almost sacrificed for ritual purposes in Port Harcourt.
Her words: ‘’I was a petty trader in Ikorodu town before my marriage while my husband was a full time pastor. In the course of our relationship, I expended all my earnings but this was not in vain as I gave birth to a boy in February 2016. Three months after, my husband suggested we should visit his friend in Port Harcourt to raise fund for my business. During our three months stay, I became a prophetess and also assisted in evangelism.
But on one fateful day, my husband conspired with his friends to sacrifice me for ritual purposes and my refusal earned me incarceration as they tortured and gang-raped me. This took place for a number of days until I reached my sister through a text message and she came to my rescue. They separated me from my son and were about tying me to the ceiling fan when my sister arrived the one-room church.
My wedding gown and other items were kept for two years as he is yet to complete the dowry,”
In a chat with Vanguard, Pastor Uchenna alleged that his wife was both psychologically and emotionally imbalance during their stay in Port Harcourt. He said, ‘’she used to see visions and loved evangelism but one day, she was on evangelism field with my friend’s relative when she was spiritually attacked and she started exhibiting strange behaviour.
But my mistake was that I did not inform her parents believing it was a minor issue until she became violent and we had to seek spiritual help by inviting some pastors to conduct deliverance for her. She however sent a message to her elder sister and I was misunderstood.
The scars on her body were as a result of the violent situation she found herself. How can I connive with others to kill the mother of my baby? Her family was just being harsh on me for failure to complete the dowry because out of N100,000, I only paid N40,000”.
In a telephone conversation, Port Harcourt based Uchenna’s friend, Pastor Quintus said Patience’s allegation was baseless. According to him, ‘’there is a misunderstanding between the pastor and his in-laws but I was not part of the development that led to Patience’s predicament,”
Meanwhile, Patience was still undergoing both medical and spiritual treatment in Ilishan Remo but she vowed not to return to her cleric husband: ‘’I have spent all my earnings on this marriage which has almost cost me my life and I will never return to that home”, she said.