The Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, on Monday, April 17, remanded the founder of ‘I Reign Christian Ministry’, Daniel Oluwafeyiropo, for allegedly raping two of his church members (names withheld).
The presiding judge, Justice Ramon Oshodi, remanded Oluwafeyiropo in Kirikiri correctional centre pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions.
The cleric was in the news recently following his prophetic prediction to his congregation, saying Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) would be unlawfully declared as the winner of the February 25, 2023, presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) would win the poll but Tinubu would be declared winner.
The cleric also predicted that Tinubu won’t be sworn in.
However, the defence counsel, Olukunle Oyewole, while moving his bail application dated April 10, urged the court to grant bail to the defendant on liberal terms.
Oyewole argued that the cleric had been on police administrative bail and had made himself available to the police.
“My lord, the defendant was not informed on the day the matter came up for the first time before this court.
“The defendant is a well-known religious leader and he has shown by his action that he will not jump bail.
The offence for which he is charged with is a bailable offences and he has credible sureties that can stand for him,” he said.
The state lead prosecution counsel, Babjide Boye, in his counter affidavit dated April 14, urged the court to refuse the bail application of the defendant, however, left it at the discretion of the court.
Boye, however, argued that the offence was a serious one, stressing that the likelihood of conviction might put the defendant on flight risk.
“There is also possibility of the defendant interfering with the prosecution witnesses.
“He is a bishop of so many branches and if granted bail, he may use his position to influence the prosecution witnesses as he is regarded as a man of authority who has the possibility of committing same crime.
“We urge the court to deny the defendant bail because he has failed to provide the court exceptional circumstances to grant him bail,” the prosecutor stated.
Justice Oshodi, however, admitted Oluwafeyiropo to N20 million bail with two sureties in like sum.
The judge said one of the sureties must be owner of a build-up property in Lagos State, adding that the property must be enough to cover the bail sum.
“The original document of the landed property must be submitted to the Chief Registrar of Lagos State.
The sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and must have three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State,” Justice Oshodi added.
The judge also ordered the pastor to deposit his international passport with the Chief Registrar of the court and ordered acceleration hearing of the case.
Justice Oshodi, therefore, adjourned the case until May 9, 2023, for trial.
Oluwafeyiropo was earlier arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on rape.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecution said the pastor raped his church members in June 2020 in Ikota Villa Estate, Lekki, Lagos State.
According to the prosecution, the alleged offence contravened Sections 260 (2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
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