Presiding Bishop of City of Angels International Ministry, Port Harcourt, Bishop Sodje Mudiaga Masodje has petitioned Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd) over incessant harassment by soldiers led by one Master Warrant Officer (MWO), Nwigbarene Sorbari.
He alleged that Sorbari, attached to 4 Brigade, Benin City, Edo State had on several occasions led soldiers to harass him and members of his congregation at the church, located along Rumuehara Farm Road, off Igwurita-Eneka Road in Rivers State capital, accusing him of killing his daughter, late Miss Sorbari Beauty Nwigbarene.
Masodje, in a petition signed by his lawyer, Elder David Abuo, a copy of which was obtained by LEADERSHIP Weekend in Port Harcourt, said the Rivers State Police Command had already investigated the allegation against him following a petition by the soldier and cleared him.
Copied in the Bishop’s petition were chief of army staff; commissioner of police, Rivers State Command; general officer commanding, 6 Division; commander, 4 Brigade, Benin City and Rivers State Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
It reads in part: “That on December 25, 2020 at about 3pm, Bishop Sodje Mudiaga Masodje received a telephone call from one Miss Sorbari Beauty Nwigbarene, a member of the ministry who informed him that she was going to Benin City to spend Christmas with her family there and he prayed with her and wished her journey mercies and angelic protection.
“That on December 27, 2020, Warrant Officer Sorbari Nwigbarene, father of the said Miss Sorbari Beauty Nwigbarene called him to inquire about the said Beauty’s whereabout and the said Bishop informed him of his conversation with Beauty on December 25, 2020, to the effect that she was traveling to Edo State to spend Christmas with her family on the said December 25, 2020.
“Subsequently, he got to know of an accident that occurred on December 25, 2020, Alon East-West Road, between Ndele and Rumuji (Rivers State), which claimed several lives with three survivors and said Beauty was one of the victims that died though she was rushed to the General Hospital, Ahoada, Rivers State.
“That the said accident was duly reported and investigated by police at Rumuji Police Division to the knowledge and occurrence of MWO Sorbari Nwigbarene.
“Inspite of the said information, MWO Sorbari Nwigbarene lodged false complaint of the purported abduction of his said daughter, Beauty to the Military Police at Bori Camp on December 28, 2020 and the Bishop was wrongly/illegally arrested and unlawfully/ unconstitutionally detained by said Military Police from December 28, 2020 till January 6, 2021.
“Even though he, not being culpable was implicit, he was instead of being discharged, transferred to civil police on January 8, 2021.
On January 25, 2021, after a detailed/thorough and painstaking investigation into the false allegation, the Bishop was granted bail without any charge.”