Jan 28, 2012

6-year-old girl dies during ‘deliverance’ from witchcraft spirit

Mrs. Friday’s trouble was said to have started when she met Mama Iyabo in one Apostolic Church in Ogba area of the metropolis. Taking her as a woman of God, Godstime, narrated to her, how she had had prolonged bleeding and as such, needed spiritual solution.

However, Mama Iyabo allegedly told her that the solution to her problem would not be found in the particular Apostolic Church, but in another church located at the Oke-Ira area of Lagos. She told the disturbed woman about Prophet Tan Johnson and his powers. The mother of five was regaled with the miracles the man of God had been performing and how he had been wrecking havoc in the kingdom of Satan, setting free, those who were oppressed by the devil.
Godstime, who wept profusely as she narrated her ordeals, explained that she followed Mama Iyabo to El-Shadai Foundation Ministry, where they met Johnson, the General Overseer.

She said instead of addressing the bleeding issue, which brought her to the church, Prophet Johnson, as he is fondly called by members of the congregation, said to her flatly: “Woman, you are under the bondage of witchcraft.” He, however, told her not to entertain fears as it was a very simple matter to handle. “Your case is a minor one, compared to what they did to my children,” he was quoted as telling the woman.

The prophet also told her to bring all her children to the church, for what he called, ‘total deliverance.’ “I was afraid, so, I rushed to the house to bring all my children, but I made the greatest mistake of my life, by not informing my husband as was directed by Prophet Johnson,” she said.

She said she booked an appointment to see him on a Tuesday, after paying N25,000, regarded as ‘deliverance fee’.
But as they were about leaving the house that fateful Tuesday, Victoria started weeping, and told her mother how she would have loved to go to school that day. Thinking it was the handiwork of the devil, the woman tried to convince her to follow her to the church. “I forced her to go with me. I did not know that it was God who was speaking through her,” she lamented.
When they got to the church, the prophet asked the children to embark on fasting from 6a.m. to 6p.m. She said: “So, my children did not eat. And when we got to the church, I still paid another money and Prophet Tom Johnson started speaking in tongues.”

After prayers, the cleric brought out some concoction and gave to my children. Others refused to drink but the prophet singled out Victoria and forced her to drink the black liquid. Immediately she drank it, she started exhibiting some strange behaviours. She fell and started shivering.”

According to her, she started pleading with the prophet to allow her rush her daughter to the nearest hospital. “But he and his wife warned me not to think of taking her to hospital, describing the encounter a ‘spiritual warfare.’
When she noticed that the child was becoming very weak, she begged him again to allow her take Victoria to the hospital. “But the prophet locked the gate securely, and warned me not to attract the attention of people to the church,” she further disclosed.
And when her son tried to call his father on phone, the prophet allegedly seized his handset. But when it became clear to him that her health was deteriorating, the Prophet recommended that the girl be rushed to another church in Mobil area owned by an undisclosed Senior Prophet. “When we got to Mobil area, I still appealed to them to allow me to take her to the hospital but Tom still refused.”

Instead, the Senior Prophet told her to undress Victoria. “ I did that and Victoria was laid on the bare floor and at that point, she started having convulsion. She died few minutes after we arrived the church at Mobil,” she told Crimewatch in tears.
The woman believes her daughter whom she described as a very intelligent person, was used for ritual. “There are no two ways about it, my daughter was killed. He used her for ritual.
“I am a Christian and I know that children’s fast does not exceed 12 noon. I think I was hypnotized to have made the mistake of allowing my children to fast from 6a.m. to 6p.m. I would have raised the alarm, when I noticed that my daughter’s life was in danger, or when he locked the gate and prevented my son from calling his father on phone,” she said.
She has, however, appealed to the police and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), not to allow the suspects go scot-free. She said: “What I want is justice, they should not allow Prophet Tom, his agent, Mama Iyabo and other accomplices to go scot-free.”

Her husband, Friday, told the reporter how the news of his daughter’s death came to him as a rude shock. Hear him: “My daughter was hale and hearty, when I left home that Tuesday. She bade me goodbye, if a prophet had told me she would die few hours after she bade me goodbye, I wouldn’t have believed him.”

He said he came back to the house only to see a crowd, consoling his wife. He then looked round and saw his daughter’s corpse lying on the ground. “I knew Tom Johnson as a motor mechanic; when did he become a pastor? I would have fought him when I saw my daughter’s corpse, but I prefer the police to do their job. I’m hopeful of getting justice,” he said.
When Crimewatch visited his Haruna, Ogba residence, many sympathizers were seen there consoling the couple.
A visit to the church premises where the incident occurred also indicated that members now look at the church premises from a safe distance, to avoid arrest by the police. Meanwhile, the body of the late Victoria has been deposited at the Isolo General Hospital for autopsy.