Barristers & Solicitors
Absence of Lagos bishop accused of raping pastor stalls arraignment

The planned arraignment of the Founder of I Reign Christian Ministry, Bishop Oluwafeyiropo Daniel, for alleged rape was stalled on Monday after he failed to show up in court.

The matter, which was listed as number four on the case list of the judiciary, came up before Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja.

The police prosecutor, Mrs Inumidun Solarin, however, informed the court that the defendant was not around.

She noted that Daniel was granted bail by the police at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, Ikoyi.

According to her, the Investigating Police Officer, ASP Yemi Temenu, claimed that when the police visited his house in Ikota, Lekki, it was discovered that he had relocated.

While seeking an adjournment, she said the pastor was in Abuja for a church programme.

The case was subsequently adjourned till April 17, 2023.

Saturday PUNCH had reported that the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions ordered the prosecution of Daniel for the alleged rape of an assistant pastor of his church and another lady.

The case against him was investigated at the FCID, where some of the victims had made statements.

The case file was forwarded to the DPP last year when the investigation was said to have been concluded.

However, for several months, the legal advice was not released, as the victims alleged compromise on the part of the police and the state government.

Our correspondent, who confirmed that the legal advice was issued by the DPP in December 2022 and the cleric had yet to be prosecuted, decided to apply for the certified true copy of the advice.

On Thursday, March 2, Saturday PUNCH applied for the certified true copy and after the payment of the requisite fee, the advice was released exclusively to our correspondent on Monday, March 13.

The advice, which was signed by the DPP Director, Dr Babajide Martins, was dated December 16, 2022.

The report stated in part, “After careful consideration of the facts available in the duplicate case file, this office is of the view that there exists prima facie offence of rape under Section 260 of the Criminal Law, Ch C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 against the suspect, Oluwafeyiropo Daniel.

“Facts from the duplicate case file reveal that the suspect, Oluwafeyiropo Daniel, is a pastor and the founder of I Reign Christian Ministry; that he had a church branch in Akungba Akoko (Ondo) where he had young people as pastors and assistant pastors. It is also revealed that Oluwafeyiropo Daniel invites the branch pastors and assistants to his house from time for one reason or the other.”

The report said Daniel took advantage of the assistant pastor whenever she visited his residence in the Ikota area of Lagos.

“It is revealed that Oluwafeyiropo Daniel having presented himself as his victims’ spiritual father whom they must be loyal to and must never hide anything from, including their body, lures the complainant and his other victim into having sexual intercourse with him.

“In the light of the foregoing, this office shall prosecute Pages 81- (Oluwafeyiropo Daniel) for the offence of rape under Section 260 of the Criminal Law, Ch C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015,” the advisory stated.