By Francesca Iwambe
Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, has ordered the arraignment of a Lekki-based pastor, Bishop Oluwafeyiropo Daniel, over the alleged rape of an assistant pastor of the church and another lady.
Daniel is the founder of I Reign Christian Ministry, Ikota, Lekki, and has been trending on social media for making prophecies about the outcome of the elections.
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.
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
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 one of the assistant pastors 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 bodies, lures the complainant and his other victim into having sexual intercourse with him,” the advice added.
On the rationale for prosecuting Daniel, 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 Daniel 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- (Oluwafeyiropo Daniel) 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.”