The pastor of a new generation church in Igbo-Etche, in the Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, has been stripped naked by members of a vigilance group for allegedly defiling his three daughters, Punch Newspaper reports.
The cleric, who confessed to the crime in a viral video seen on social media, was stripped by the group known as the Onelga Security, Peace and Advisory Council.
He was also beaten in the presence of his wife and son for the act.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the pastor’s son reported the incest to the security guards after he learnt that his mother had been covering up the crime.
The local guards were said to have mobilised to the pastor’s residence, took him outside and stripped him naked.
In the video seen by our correspondent, a member of the group asked why the suspect defiled his daughters.
Responding, he said, “It is because of a witchcraft force. My mother told me not to marry this woman (pointing to the wife), but I continued to marry her. So, my mother did that to punish me and bring shame on me.”
Asked the name of his church and how many members he had, the pastor said, “My church is in Chuwuta in Ibgbo-Etche. I have many members but I have not had sex with any of the women in my church.”
Angered by his explanation, a man suspected to be the leader of the vigilantes, slapped the cleric, while two other members flogged him with canes.
A member of the group turned to the suspect’s wife, who said she was 56 years old, demanding what she did after discovering the crime.
“I cannot do anything because I love my husband and I cover him. But I told him not to do it again. I cover him because of love,” she replied.
When asked to speak, the pastor’s son, who reported the matter to the vigilantes, said his father laid curse on him for exposing the secret.
The leader of the vigilantes compelled the suspect to reverse the curse.
PUNCH Metro gathered that he was later taken to a nearby police station.
A spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident, but expressed anger at the way the vigilantes treated the matter.
He said, “All those involved in the matter, including the vigilantes, will be arrested for taking the law into their hands.
“They compounded the situation by not reporting to the police. The Divisional Police Officer in charge of that area has been mandated to bring all those behind it to justice.”