Feyi Daniels, the founder of iReign Christian Ministry, was given a life sentence by the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence court in a historic ruling for the horrific act of raping a church member.
The trial judge, Rahman Oshodi, found the Lagos-based cleric guilty of both rape and sexual assault against a female worshipper, whose identity has been withheld.
The judge ruled that Daniels will spend the remainder of his life at the Kirikiri custodial facility in Lagos.
Justice Oshodi emphasised that the prosecution successfully established the elements of the two offences, citing testimony from a 19-year-old church member and a 23-year-old pastor assistant.
In a scathing assessment, Oshodi characterised Daniels as a liar who showed no regard for the truth.
The prosecution’s case presented a compelling argument against Daniels, who took the witness stand in his defence.
The Bishop claimed that three out of the four women accusing him of sexual assault had conspired against him.
However, under cross-examination, the lead counsel for the prosecution, Babajide Boye, sought to reveal a ‘personal relationship’ between Daniels and the accusers.
Boye alleged that Daniels had provided financial assistance to one woman for hospital treatment, paid school fees for another, and had a counselling relationship with a third.
The Bishop vehemently denied giving money for treatment and asserted that one of the accusers later apologised to him.
The prosecutor also accused Daniels of using his position as a pastor to manipulate those seeking counselling.
The defence counsel, Adebayo Adegbite, raised objections to the admissibility of the statements. He argued that the statements were not made by the defendant and that the Bishop signed them under duress.
“The statements are a mixture of confession and denial. We leave it to the court to determine whether they amount to a confession. Right from the start of this trial, the defendant has denied the charges, that’s his plea.
The documents weren’t made voluntarily. Even if there were contradictions, he wasn’t the maker of the documents, they were written by the police,” Adegbite stated.
Meanwhile, in his ruling, Justice Rahman Oshodi admitted the documents.
The judge said, “By section 9(3) and (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State (2021), the presence of a video testimony of the suspect is desirable but not compulsory.
I will admit the documents and later consider the evidential value to place on them. The objection of the defence is hereby overruled.”