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Feyi Daniels, Lagos pastor bags life imprisonment for raping church member

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Bishop Feyi Daniels of IReign Christian Family

Feyi Daniels, the founder of iReign Christian Ministry, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday by an Ikeja Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence court for “raping a church member.”

The trial judge, Rahman Oshodi, convicted the Lagos-based pastor of rape and sexual assault on a female worshipper.

The bishop, who testified in his own defense, previously stated that he felt three of the four women who accused him of sexual assault colluded to turn against him.

However, Daniels stated that he was oblivious to the reasons why the women colluded against him.

During cross-examination, the prosecution’s lead counsel, Babajide Boye, attempted to prove that the defendant, Bishop Daniels, had a ‘personal relationship’ with the four ladies.

Boye said that the defendant counseled one of the women, gave another N100,000 for medical care, paid a third’s school fees, and was involved with a fourth as a leader in a campus fellowship linked with his ministry in Akungba-Akobo, Ondo State.

However, the bishop denied sending money to one of the women for therapy. He went on to say, “I believe all three ladies turned against me, but not (name withheld) because she later apologized to me.”

When asked why the females’ charges were all sexual in character, the defendant stated he had no idea.

Boye also accused the defendant of exploiting his position as a pastor to manipulate people who seek counseling from him and his church.

“You are a man of God. Are you not? A powerful man of God. You get trained to counsel, and you use wisdom and the leading of the spirit to manipulate,” he asked.

However, Daniels refuted this allegation, saying, “I am not a powerful man; I am a pastor. I do not use power to counsel people; I am not a manipulator.”

The prosecutor further grilled Bishop Daniels, asking, “You visited your Akungba fellowship center, and when she (one of the alleged victims) saw you, she hissed. Were you not surprised, as a pastor?

“No. She was disgruntled because I couldn’t help her financially,” Bishop Daniels replied.

The defendant also denied tampering with the WhatsApp chats between himself and one of his alleged rape victims.

During the cross-examination, the prosecutor also attempted to present four statements allegedly written by the defendant while in police custody at various points last year.

”There are contradictions between the defendant’s testimony and the contents of the documents. We seek to use them to impeach his testimony. We rely on Section 232 of the Evidence Act to say that evidence, even if obtained improperly, is still admissible, and we urge the court to admit the same,” Boye said.

The defense attorney, Adebayo Adegbite, objected to the comments’ admission. He claimed that the statements were not made by the defendant and that the Daniels 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 verdict, Justice Rahman Oshodi acknowledged the documents. The judge stated, ”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 defense is hereby overruled.”

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