By Edoamaowo Udeme
When 13-year-old Precious and her mother started worshipping with Prophet Horgan Thomas, General Overseer of Believers Covenant City Ministry, at 13 Obio Imo street in Akwa Ibom State, the South-South part of Nigeria, they probably must have had two things in mind, getting closer to God and getting life changing miracles. Well, the two happened. Their Iives not only changed for the worst, but they now rely on God to watch over them as they must look over their shoulders before they step outside of their hiding place.
When a few weeks ago, a video surfaced on the internet of a young girl holding a calendar of a Church and telling the world how a Pastor told her mother that she is a “Blind Witch” and needed deliverance because she had sold her womb to the witches and that she also has a Kidney problem, little did she know that she will be looking for a hiding place shortly thereafter.
A few days later, Armed Policemen led by Prophet Horgan Thomas stormed their house and arrested her and her mother and they found themselves at the Uyo Area Command, accused of character assassination. The table turned when the video was played at the Police station and the complainant automatically became the accused. The hunter became the hunted, Prophet Horgan was promptly arrested and detained, and so their woes began. Hogan’s children initially came in peace by offering to “settle” them with cash gifts, better accommodation and even set up a business for them. Cash promise ranged from N100,000 to N250,000. When all were rejected, the threats began……
HOW IT ALL BEGAN.
32-year-old single mother of 5, 4 boys and 1 girl, Glory Okon Uweh, from Ikot Uboh in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State started worshipping at Covenant City Ministry, since 2019. Always going to church with her three kids since the two older ones are living elsewhere, she participates in almost all church activities including night vigils and fasting.
Glory’s only job is hawking sachet (pure) water on the streets of Uyo to feed three kids and herself. She makes time out for church activities until Prophet Horgan Thomas saw a vision where he accused Glory’s daughter Precious, of selling her womb to the witchcraft coven and that she also has kidney problem which will result in her being barren in future. Precious the Prophet said was initiated into the coven by one Solomon, a former church member. (Only God knows why Solomon left the church but is still scared to speak out despite my effort to reach him).
Bottom-line? Precious needed “deliverance” which will cost her mum 7 bottles of Olive oil and medical hand gloves. What’s more? Precious will be “delivered” by staying with the Prophet inside the church for 3 days even when Glory wished she could be with her 13-year-old daughter while being “delivered”, the Prophet vehemently rejected this gesture. The panicky Glory for fear of having a barren child squeezed out of her meagre income to raise money to buy 4 bottles of Olive Oil and a glove that wasn’t medical, the prophet accepted the oil and promised to make up with the remaining bottles and use his gloves.
According to Precious, “Prophet will ask me to go into the church vestry, remove my pants and lie down while he wears hand gloves and inserts his fingers inside my vagina, he will rummage it until I cry out in pain, I will beg him to stop as the pain increases, after sometime, he will stop and ask me to get up and wear my pants, the ordeal continued until I couldn’t bear it anymore, I ran away, I ran to my aunt’s place in Calabar”.
“When I returned, He came to meet my mother and asked that I returned to conclude my “deliverance”, my mum also insisted, so I will go to the road, spend time and come back to tell mum that he is not available, I did that a few times until he came back and insisted I went with him. I later went but when he took me to the vestry. He lay down on the floor and asked me to remove my pants, I remembered the pains and couldn’t take it anymore, I ran away”.
According to Glory, “Trouble began when the Prophet came to our house and asked me if my daughter Precious has told me anything, unknown to him, she had told me all before his visit. When I asked him why he said that children lie a lot, that he doesn’t want to be lied against, that he only inserted his hand in her vagina to deliver her and did not use his penis, I shouted and asked him why he will insert his hands into her vagina, he told me it was part of the deliverance, when I told him that I don’t want my child to go through that ordeal again, he became angry and said that if precious doesn’t come to conclude the “deliverance”, He would invoke her spiritually and stab her to death”.
Glory continued, “I remembered Precious crying every night, complaining of pains in the lower abdomen, that all Precious underpants has been cut mysteriously around the vaginal area, my own panties and that of the other siblings are not affected that was when I couldn’t take it anymore, I wailed and started telling who cared to listen that my only daughter’s life was at risk, that I don’t want to lose her and I don’t want her father to blame me, since her father was in Port Harcourt, a good Samaritan opted to record a video and send to him through his brother, I don’t know how the video became viral”
IN SEARCH OF PRECIOUS ALEX BENSON
Having posted the video on my Facebook wall, “Global Network Against Domestic Violence Foundation” I did the best I could to translate the little Precious said. An international call came to my line from one of my Big Brothers of the Pen whose shoelaces I can’t untie, Azuka Jebose, who asked me how I could locate Precious and then began the journey to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State but before then, A Big Sis who has done me well and whom I have never met but who choose to care for this little me, Mrs Aniema Umoh, called from the USA as well, she was mad with rage over Precious case, when I told her of my planned visit, I could hear her jubilating at the other end of the phone. Her contribution? “As soon as you locate her, take her to a hospital, I will send you the Doctors name and number, ensure she is well treated and I will pick the bill”. My joy knew no bound! this mission will be great.
AN INDIFFERENT FATHER
Nsukara Offot is divided into two, Ekpri Nsukara and Akamba Nsukara, both are densely populated within the State’s capital metropolis, so locating Precious without the aid of a guide would have simply been looking for a needle in a haystack. Since I went there for a rescue mission, visiting the village head was the only option. At least, I went for “peace”.
The Ekpri Nsukara Village head having looked at the video said there was no such name of an indigene in his community and directed me to Akamba Nsukara. Once there, a very pleasant man, COVID -19 compliant, walked into his waiting room. Warm hearted Eteidung Cletus Benson, the Village head took one look at the video and promptly sent his aide to call a certain Alex for him. Thinking Alex was probably another aide, I relaxed. What I didn’t observe was that the Chief’s surname and Precious surname have something in common. A young dude of about 35 years walked in and the Chief showed him the video, he recoiled, looked at us and bent his head as if he were reading something on the floor. I kept my cool until the Village head said “This is Alex Benson, he is my nephew and the child in question is his daughter and I am just seeing this video for the very first time, I have also just heard the story for the very first time”.
Half of my problem solved! I turned to Alex, He became antagonistic immediately and demanded to know who I was and my mission. I apologized and explained. “Well, I was in Port Harcourt when the mother of my children called me severally that I should come to Akwa Ibom that something was amiss, I asked her to explain and she insisted I come back first. Since she did not want to tell me, I decided to wait until she did, then someone sent a video on her behalf which did not open because of my bad phone, it wasn’t until she told me that I came and witnessed this”. He explained his presence up to the transferring the case from Uyo Area Command to the Headquarters in Ikot Akpan Abia and how he left it there. “The girl in question is my daughter, she was initially staying with my mother but her mother said that she is not safe there and that she will not be cared for properly, she came and took her and this is the result” Alex added. Head bowed, the Village head asked Alex, “why didn’t you tell me this”? I left that aspect for “Family Matters” and continued what brought me as he had no answer.
In the end, Alex parted with the phone numbers of Glory and the IPO. For two days, the numbers were not connecting and I decided to call Alex to ask for the house address of the mother of his children, he mentioned the area but doesn’t know the address, I asked that I would pay for his transport only if he took me to the area, all Alex said was “Aunty, keep trying her line, you will eventually get it”.
If only he knew the pains I took from waiting at the airport from 12am to 6pm because that was the first flight after lockdown. If only he knew that having waited at the departure hall with no apologies and Ibom Air who did not even offer us sachet water, if only he could read my heart! I made up my mind to search for Precious no matter what. Up till I rounded off my quest and till date, Alex has neither called me nor the mother of his kids for any updates. That is another family matter that will be settled by them and only them. Surprisingly, it is the village head that has shown more concern and is asking for updates.
The third day, my joy knew no bound! Glory’s phone rang and she picked. Dang! My quest was making sense!
Seated in an old dilapidated compound which would have been termed modest had there been some level of maintenance was a young woman, quite young despite the fact that life has thrown some tantrums at her, was Glory. I greeted her and almost walked pass her until she picked my call and I could see the elation in her. She has a boy and a toddler with her. And then this beautiful young girl ran out of the room to welcome me. That was Precious and the rests is history. I sat down to business, we chatted, discussed and eventually agreed to video recording interview, gaining her confidence, she settled down to talk and agreed that I took them to the hospital. But before then, she requested that I speak with the Good Samaritan that not only harbored her and kids but protects her from incessant harassments. What’s more? He was supposed to return to Lagos to his family as he resides there but worries that they will come and harm them if they could do that in his presence. I later learnt that he had to “spy” on me first before he trusted that I was harmless, that I came in peace.
On why she said in the initial video that Precious was her only child, and later implicated herself by saying that the other children’s underpants are intact save for precious, Glory said “I have 4 boys, Precious is my only daughter, so I was actually saying she was my only daughter. Why did she not collect the N100.000 and N250.000 offered by the children David and Ndifreke Horgan Thomas, considering the fact that she sells pure water to survive and her pathetic living condition, Glory says “The life and future of my daughter matters more to me than anything else, when the Prophet threatened to spiritually invoke my daughter and strike her dead, can you compare that to money”?
When asked what happened when she was arrested, Glory said “We were taken to the police station, we were asked to make statements, we did and when they asked him, he said we lied against him to ruin his reputation. It wasn’t until they saw the video that the left us and asked us to go and they detained him but when we were transferred to the Police Headquarters, they took Precious for medical testing because of her pains, but they have not told me the result and they haven’t given it to me either”
Was Precious treated medically? I asked, Glory said NO! they only wanted to establish if what she said was true, so where are the medical records? “I was not given, they refused to give me” Glory said.
INNOCENT EKONG (INNOVICAN), THE GOOD SAMARITAN
A talent developer who has helped many youths he has gotten in touch with. In his words. “I saw a distressed woman who wanted to reach the father of her kids to pass the message, the only way to help was to record that video and send to him I did the recording and my tenant Mr Dennis Edet did the interviewing. After I did that, I learnt he couldn’t access it in his phone so she suggested we send to the man’s relative which I did, I only saw that it went viral”
Innocent, whose tenants live in his house for free says, it wasn’t until he watched the video that he realized that the said Prophet once lived in his house for free for years before he left. It wasn’t until that calendar was brought to me that I discovered that it was the same man they were talking about, even when he came to threaten the woman, he didn’t even acknowledge me. In fact, when he was detained, the son David came with police officers to arrest Precious, she had sighted them and ran away and they turned to my tenant, demanding that she brought her out, when she ignored them, a Police officer used his gun butt and hit her on the leg. She has been limping since as you can see, pointing to a lady Mrs Dennis Edet who is also a tenant in the compound.
On why they came looking for Precious, Innocent says he had no idea “After all, they were the ones that arrested her in the first place, so when the tables turned, they tried to bribe them into silence and when they couldn’t, they wanted them to renounce the video, how is that possible”?
On his magnanimity of having distressed people live in his house for free Innocent said “I bought this house since 2003, since I didn’t have money to renovate it as I reside in Lagos with my family, I simply allow people to live for free so as to maintain the compound. Innocent even apologized to me for his inability to fix his car as he would have offered me to use in my intra transport. What a heart!
DR ITA UDOSEN, EFFICIENT! TIME KEEPER! SACRIFICIAL!
I didn’t call Dr Ita Udosen until I finished some part of my quest. When that was done, I put a call through to him. Referring him to Mrs Aniema Umoh, he had been expecting me a week earlier. He was waiting at the office for me even before I arrived. He calls to apologies and shifts time if he were engaged. In the end, after scan, swap tests and all. Precious needed a week out-patient treatment of injections and tablets. How was I to achieve that? First, I never had the funds to hire a taxi for one week, second, with the threats on her life, it will be risky to have her jump tricycle (Keke) the only means of public transport in the metropolis. Dr Udosen proffered a solution. An ambulance would be provided to pick her up, get her treated and return her home.
It will go down my memory lane that my first Ambulance ride ever was that of ALMA CLINIC AND SURGERY, 19 Ikot Udoro Street Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Actually, I wasn’t lying straight as a patient but I only joined Precious and mother when we went for scan and was thereafter dropped of my destination all thanks to Dr Udosen.
BARRISTER JOHNSON EBONG THE PRO BONO LAWYER SAYS THE POLICE HAS BEEN COMPROMISED.
I got involved because I usually do Pro bono cases as part of corporate social responsibility. Having spoken to the mother and child, I prepared a petition to submit to the Commissioner of Police, only receive a call from the woman that she and her daughter have been arrested by the Police on the orders of the Prophet. Since I was in a court, I told her I will be on my way immediately I was out. Shortly thereafter, she called me again that the table turned when they saw the video that they have been release and the man detained, but to my astonishment, when the first court appearance came, I, other lawyers and police prosecutors noticed that the police has been compromised because the charge that was read in court had no mention of defilement. The initial case was that of defilement and when it was read, we only heard that the man touched her private part and defilement was not mentioned at all. The touching could mean just brushing somebody.
On what he did as a lawyer when he heard it, “I had to meet the meet with officer in charge of the legal department of the Police headquarters and I had to intimate him that the matter has to be adjusted and substituted at the next adjournment to reflect the true situation. They agreed and I will make sure that I see it before the case comes up on the 12th August 2020”.
On the Officer in charge of the case, “I confronted him and he said he was even surprised that such a charge was brought against the man”.
INSPECTOR IMO EKPE THE IPO ON THE CASE AT THE POLICE HEADQURTERS IN UYO
I put a call through to Inspector Ekpe, he was initially hostile, telling me how news speculated that the man was released on bail when he was actually still in their custody. In the end, he said that everything is inside the case file, that he cannot update me until the court case comes up. That I should come to the court on the 12th for updates. Case closed.
I CALLED PROPHET HORGAN THOMAS.
The church was under lock and key for days on end and he wouldn’t pick calls. Having ignored my calls for a long while, I was lucky he eventually picked, I told him my mission and he said he was recuperating in his village and will call me whenever he gets back, I kept calling until he told me he can’t grant me any interview until after the 12th of August which is his court appearance.
Well, when I visited the area, a few days later, the church service was in full force and the person that was with me warned that I shouldn’t walk into the premises with trousers as it will raise a red flag, but as I looked in, the Prophet was busy conducting services.
While the family requires protection from God, thankfully, Medical treatment have been offered but their living condition is simply awful, they are squatting and sleeping on a rubber flex/banner, no mat, no mattress, and what’s more? Since she stopped hawking sachet (pure) water, life has been very difficult as she has been feeding from handouts which makes her and family more vulnerable to attacks.
Sadly, the Good Samaritan may soon return to his family in Lagos. What will be their fate before the court case which the lawyer claimed has already been compromised?
Global Network Against Domestic Violence Foundation says “SAY NO TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
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