Pastor Anthony Obo of God’s Commandment Ministry who was accused of using a baby for ritual, defended himself when paraded by the Police, claiming that the ‘occult items’ found in his church were drama costumes.

The pastor, who was paraded along with five other accomplices, told newsmen that he did not abduct the one-year, six-month-old girl whose heart was reportedly found in a white basin in his church.

He said: “The red chairs covered in white sheet and the black bag and other occult items were used by the youth of my church for art and drama presentation, while the blood in the red bucket is that of the goat and chicken I killed to celebrate the dedication of my child who was one year last week.”

The spokesperson of Cross River Police Command, Ms Irene Ugbo, however, said the pastor and his accomplices were arrested following a confessional statement by one of the suspects that they were sent by the pastor to abduct and kill a baby, whose heart was put in a basin and handed over to him.

She said: “The heart has been sent to the University of Calabar for forensic examination, while we are investigating where the body of the baby was dumped or buried.”

She added that investigations into pictures of those found in the church are being carried out to identify the reason the pictures were found there.