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January 26, 2024
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How Lagos pastor who raped member was sentenced to life imprisonment

In a landmark judgment today, the founder of iReign Christian Ministry, Bishop Feyi Daniels, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court for the rape and sexual assault of a female church member.

The trial, presided over by Justice Rahman Oshodi, concluded with the judge finding the Lagos-based cleric guilty of the charges brought against him. The Bishop had taken the witness box in his defense, vehemently denying the accusations and suggesting that three out of the four women who accused him had conspired against him.

During the cross-examination, the prosecution’s lead counsel, Babajide Boye, sought to establish a ‘personal relationship’ between the defendant and the four women. Boye alleged that Bishop Daniels had provided financial assistance to one of the women, counseled another, paid school fees for a third, and maintained a leadership role in the campus fellowship affiliated with his ministry for the fourth.

However, the Bishop denied giving money to one of the women for treatment, insisting that the accusations were a result of a conspiracy. He claimed that one of the accusers had later apologized to him.

Boye further accused the defendant of using his pastoral position to manipulate those seeking counseling. The prosecutor questioned whether Bishop Daniels, as a man of God, used his wisdom and the leading of the spirit to manipulate people. The Bishop vehemently denied these allegations, stating, “I am not a powerful man; I am a pastor. I do not use power to counsel people; I am not a manipulator.”

The cross-examination also delved into an alleged incident where one of the victims reportedly hissed at the Bishop during a visit to the Akungba fellowship center. The Bishop explained that the woman was disgruntled because he couldn’t help her financially.

In a surprising turn, the prosecutor sought to tender four statements purportedly written by the defendant while in police custody last year. The defense counsel, Adebayo Adegbite, raised objections, claiming the statements were not made voluntarily and that the Bishop signed them under duress.

Despite the objections, Justice Rahman Oshodi admitted the documents, citing the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State (2021). He stated, “The objection of the defense is hereby overruled,” and indicated that the court would later consider the evidential value of the documents.

With this conviction, Bishop Daniels faces life imprisonment, marking a significant development in a case that has garnered widespread attention and raised concerns about abuse within religious institutions.

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