Crime & Law
Lagos govt orders prosecution of Bishop for r@ping female pastor
The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, has ordered the arraignment of a Lekki-based pentecostal Bishop over the alleged rape of an assistant pastor of the church and another lady.
The Bishop (name withheld) is the founder of a church in the Ikota area of Lekki, and has been trending on social media for making prophecies about the outcome of the elections.
According to a report by Punch, it was gathered that the case against him was being investigated at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Ikoyi, Lagos, where at least two of the victims had made statements.
The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team had also been involved in the matter.
The case file was forwarded to the DPP last year when 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 FCID, Ikoyi, and the state government.
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The newspaper correspondent who confirmed that the legal advice was issued 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, PUNCH applied for the certified true copy through the Ministry of Justice.
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,, is a pastor and the founder of….. ; 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 he invites the branch pastors and assistants to his house from time for one reason or the other.”
The report said the suspect took advantage of one of the assistant pastors whenever she visited his residence in the Ikota area of Lagos.
“It is revealed that pastor having presented himself as his victims’ spiritual father whom they must be loyal to and must never hide anything from, including their bodies, lures the complainant and his other victim into having sexual intercourse with him,” the advice added.
On the rationale for prosecuting him, the state government said for the prosecution to successfully prove the offence of rape, it must be established that the accused had sexual intercourse with the complainants.
The justice ministry added that it must also be evident that the act was not consensual.
It stated that there must be proof that there was penetration and the suspect acted recklessly by not caring whether the complainants consented or not.
The advice noted that though he denied sexually assaulting the assistant pastor or any of his other victims, the evidence of the “victims in the duplicate case file were cogent, direct and unequivocal and are sufficient evidence against Daniel.”
“In the light of the foregoing, this office shall prosecute Pages 81- for the offence of rape under Sections 260 of the Criminal Law, Ch C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015,
“Your duplicate case file is hereby retained to enable this office to prosecute the suspect (Oluwafeyiropo Daniel) at the High Court. You shall be notified as soon as the information is filed.
“Extra copies of this legal advice and forms for information on legal representation for the suspect are attached for service on the suspect in line with the provision of Section 74 (5) and (6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State 2011,” the advice added.
Section 260 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State under which the suspect is to be tried, prescribes a punishment of life imprisonment for rape upon conviction.
The section reads, “Any man who has unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman or girl, without her consent, is guilty of the offence of rape and liable to imprisonment for life.”
It is, however, not clear why the cleric has not been prosecuted about three months after the advice was issued.
The victims’ ordeals
The Bishop is married with children and used to have his church in different parts of the country.
It was learnt that the first victim, the assistant pastor, who was based in Ondo, was summoned to the Lagos headquarters of the church where the incident happened.
While speaking to The PUNCH in June 2022, she said she was summoned to the church headquarters in Lagos as punishment for an undisclosed offence.
She said, “So, I went to his house in Lekki for the punishment and when I got there, he said I should strip naked because he wanted to beat me. He was alone at home. He saw that I was shocked at his statement and started making me feel guilty.
“He said his spiritual father tested him in many areas and after hours of contemplating, he became angry that I disobeyed him. So, I went into the guest room, took off my clothes and closed my eyes as I came out to meet him. He told me not to close my eyes, and ordered me to kneel as he sat on a chair.
“He saw my nakedness and said he wanted to test my loyalty and was not having sex with me. He told me to put my clothes back and after wearing them, he told me to take them off again and I did. He later told me to go and not tell anyone, but after leaving his place, I told some of our senior church members.”
The victim said she returned home and after some time, the Bishop called her to report at his residence over another incident.
She said, “So, while at his house, he told me he would punish me for an offence and said I should transcribe the messages in one of his teachings. The next day, the pastor of the branch in Ibadan and his wife, whom I met at his residence the previous day left, so I was alone in the house with Bishop Daniel.
“So, while in the sitting room with him, he attempted to kiss me and I stopped him; then he slapped me. He was angry and said the last time he told me to go naked, he didn’t do anything with me. So, he left and I went into the room to sleep.
“The following day, we were in the sitting room listening to a pastor’s message when he said I should go naked again. I did, and surprisingly, he also went naked and raped me for about 30 minutes till I started bleeding because of the tears I sustained despite not being a virgin.
“The incident happened around 10pm; I was dumbfounded. He told me to go inside the room to clean up myself and before I returned, he had cleaned up the blood on the floor. He told me not to tell anyone, but I told a pastor in my church.”
The victim said Daniels did not allow her to leave his house, adding that when he attempted raping her the following night, she pleaded with him that she was tired.
The 22-year-old said, “In the morning, I greeted him, but he didn’t answer. Later, he started saying I should be privileged that he had that kind of thing with me. All of a sudden, he took off my clothes and raped me again and I still bled the second time. It was traumatic for me.
“He told me to go to the bathroom to wash and he cleaned the blood before I came out. I picked up my phone, informed the pastor of my branch and another church member of our branch, who decided to come to the pastor’s house.
“He started begging me and said he never knew what came over him. When the church member came, I wanted to follow her out to tell her the story, but he prevented me from leaving the house. I later left his house but while thinking about the incident, I felt suicidal.
“I stopped going to the church and my branch has been closed down. I reported the incident at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, in 2020. But the investigating police officer, one Inspector Samuel, told me to bring N70,000 if I wanted him arrested.
“I did not have that money and had to stop going to the station. Bishop Daniels started sending people to beg me, but I just moved on.”
Two other victims, who spoke to the Saturday PUNCH, also alleged that the suspect used a similar trick of summoning them from their branches to his house in Lekki, Lagos State, claiming that they committed offences for which they would be punished before sleeping with them.