5-year-old Chioma Jonathan, a native of Obiangwu in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area and 26 year old Chinonye Anyanwu, from Ahiazu Mbaise LGA, both in Imo State, reportedly died when they were struck by lightning during a regular Holy Ghost Hour prayer session at their church, the Heavenly Sure Charismatic Church, a Pentecostal church, at Emekuku in Owerri North LGA, Imo State.
According to Sunday Sun, the lightning strike also affected the 54-year-old General Overseer of the church, Pastor Luke Nwokocha, who led the short-lived prayer session.
Narrating what happened, Pastor Luke said
“We always have fellowship every Tuesday. On the fateful day, we had our ‘Holy Ghost Hour’. We were five members in the church.
The two deceased sisters, including the sister that swept the church premises, Evangelist Solomon and myself were arranging the benches. Around 4.30pm heavy rain started falling. I started praying for the programme. Then there was a sudden lightning flash followed by the deafening sound of thunder”.
The deceased women who were in the direct path of the electric field created by the lightning flash died instantly while the pastor who was off the direct path of the streak received a much lower jolt of electricity, which, however, was strong enough to throw him across the room, cause temporary loss of consciousness and physical injuries on his leg and hands.
“My wife, Pastor Eucharia Nwokocha and the other church member rushed me to the hospital for medical treatment. I have been in this ministry for 26 years. I have never experienced anything like this. I was called into ministry in 1990. Until that time, I was a policeman and served in the Imo State Police Command and retired at Akwa Ibom Police Command in July 2007. Following my retirement, I decided to focus on my ministry fulltime. I do not understand how it happened, its only God who understands and knows all”he said.
Following the incident, the elder brother of one of the deceased, Chioma Jonathan, reported the case to the Owerri North Divisional Police Station, from where the case was transferred to the homicide department at the headquarters of the Imo State Police Command, Owerri, the state capital.
Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu said Pastor Luke is presently undergoing interrogation at the State Criminal Investigation Department while the corpses of the dead women had been deposited at the mortuary of the Holy Rosary Hospital, Emekuku.