A clergyman, Daniel Oluwafeyiropo, has been remanded in Kirikiri Correctional Centre by an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court for allegedly raping two members of his church, whose names were withheld. Justice Ramon Oshodi remanded the founder of “I Reign Christian Ministry” pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.
The defendant was granted bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be the owner of a property in Lagos State sufficient to cover the bail sum, and the original document of the landed property must be submitted to the chief registrar of Lagos State. The sureties must also reside within the court’s jurisdiction and have three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State.
In addition, the defendant was ordered to deposit his international passport with the chief registrar of the court, and an accelerated hearing of the case was ordered. The case was adjourned until May 9 for trial.
The defence counsel, Mr Olukunle Oyewole, moved a bail application dated April 10, urging the court to grant bail to the defendant on liberal terms. Oyewole argued that the defendant had been on police administrative bail since May 20, 2023, and had made himself available to the police. He further stated that the defendant was a well-known religious leader and had demonstrated that he would not jump bail.
However, the prosecution counsel, Mr Babjide Boye, opposed the bail application, stating that the offence was serious and the likelihood of conviction might put the defendant at flight risk. Boye also argued that there was a possibility of the defendant interfering with the prosecution witnesses, given his position as a bishop with many branches. He urged the court to deny the defendant bail, as he had failed to provide exceptional circumstances to warrant bail.
Oluwafeyiropo had earlier pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge of rape. The prosecution alleged that the defendant committed the offences in June 2020 at Ikota Villa Estate, Lekki, Lagos, and that the alleged offences contravened Sections 260(2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
The case has drawn attention to the issue of sexual offences and domestic violence, particularly within religious institutions. The court’s decision on the bail application and the eventual outcome of the trial will be closely watched by the public, as it highlights the need for justice and accountability in cases of sexual offences.