A Lagos-based cleric accused of raping his members, Bishop Oluwafeyiropo Daniel, of I Reign Christian Ministry, Lekki, has yet to meet his bail conditions.
By Sunday (today), he would have spent one week in detention after he was remanded by Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja.
The pastor was supposed to appear before the court on Monday, April 3, when the case came up for arraignment, but he was absent.
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The police prosecutor, Mrs Inumidun Solarin, said the Investigating Police Officer, ASP Yemi Temenu, informed her that Daniel was not found at the address he left at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, before he was granted administrative bail.
The court adjourned the arraignment till April 17, as Solarin promised to ensure Daniel’s presence in court.
Upon the resumption of the court last Monday, Daniel was formally arraigned on two counts of rape.
He was granted bail in the sum of N20m with two sureties, who must own property within the jurisdiction of the court.
Justice Oshodi also ordered Daniel to submit his passport and adjourned the matter till May 9 for trial.
The cleric was thereafter remanded in the Kirikiri Custodial Centre pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
A source at the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command, told Sunday PUNCH that Daniel had yet to perfect his bail conditions.
“He is still in custody,” the source said.
Meanwhile, one of the two girls allegedly raped by Daniel has said some of the evidence she submitted to the police were missing from the case file.
The victim said voice recordings, pictures, statements of some witnesses and the petition her lawyer sent to the police, were not in the case file.
She said, “We had a meeting with the prosecutors (after the arraignment) and they wanted to confirm the evidence we had. I told them some of the evidence I had and they asked why I did not give them to the police at the FCID. I said I did and asked if the voice recordings were not in the file and they said no.
“We gave the police a burnt disc and flash drive; the FCID said they were sufficient evidence. We paid for search warrants twice, both at the hospital and at his house, but there was no report of their search.
“The police also went to the hospital he (Daniel) took me to. They travelled down to investigate the doctor, but the report was not there. They came back and said the doctor confirmed I was in the hospital and they recorded some things and got some things from the doctor. The report of what happened was not in the file. What they have in the file are just chats and witnesses’ statements.”
The former assistant pastor said the case might have been compromised.
The spokesperson for the FCID, Niyi Ogundeyi, denied the allegations, saying due diligence was done in the matter.
He said, “Nothing can be removed. She is just saying what she does not know. Presently, the case file is with the DPP, and they will analyse the case and call the IPO for further investigations and clarifications. A retired AIG (at the FCID) personally called the police prosecutor on the strength of available evidence. The police have been diligent in building a strong case. With the evidence on ground, the man cannot go scot-free.”
Recall that our correspondent had been monitoring Daniel’s case since 2022, when the matter was at the FCID, Alagbon, Ikoyi, where two of the victims reported their ordeals.
One of them was an assistant pastor of the Ondo branch of the church.
The case file was transferred to the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, where legal advice was issued on December 16, 2022.
The advice, which was exclusively obtained by our correspondent, stated in part, “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.
“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 bodies, lures the complainant and his other victim into having sexual intercourse with him.”
After this paper published the legal advice on March 18, 2023, the Lagos judiciary assigned the case to Justice Ramon in April 2023, leading to the prosecution of Daniel.
Daniel has continued to deny the allegations.