Fireworks as lawyers disagree on bail for bishop who allegedly raped pastors

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The Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court was the scene of a legal battle on Monday as two lawyers disagreed on bail for a bishop, Daniel Oluwafeyiropo, who was accused of raping two of his church pastors.

Oluwafeyiropo, who is the founder of I Reign Christian Ministry, was arraigned on two counts bordering on rape.

The prosecutor told the court that the defendant allegedly committed the offence sometime in June 2020, at Ikota Villa Estate, Lekki, Lagos State.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened Sections 260 (2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The bishop pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.

But the state prosecution counsel, Mr Babjide Boye, urged the court to refuse the defendant’s bail application.

Boye, in his counter affidavit dated April 14, argued that the offence was a serious one and that the likelihood of conviction might put the defendant at flight risk.

He said, “There is also the possibility of the defendant interfering with the prosecution witnesses.

“He is a bishop of a church with so many branches and if granted bail, he may use his position to influence the prosecution witnesses as he is regarded as a man of authority who has the possibility of committing the same crime.

“We urge the court to deny the defendant bail because he has failed to provide the court exceptional circumstances to grant him bail.”

However, the defendant’s counsel, Mr Olukunle Oyewole, who earlier moved his bail application dated April 10, urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.

Oyewole reminded the court that the defendant had been on police administrative bail since March 20, 2023, and had made himself available to the police.

“The defendant is a well-known religious leader and he has shown by his action that he will not jump bail.

“The offence for which he is charged is a bailable offence and he has credible sureties that can stand for him,” he said.

Justice Ramon Oshodi eventually granted Oluwafeyiropo N20m bail with two sureties in like sum.

He remanded the bishop in the Kirikiri Correctional Centre pending when he could perfect his bail conditions.

Justice Oshodi said one of the sureties must be the owner of a property in Lagos State and the property must be enough to cover the bail sum.

“The original document of the landed property must be submitted to the Chief Registrar of Lagos State.

“The sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and must show evidence of three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State,” he said.

The judge also ordered the defendant to deposit his passport with the chief registrar of the court and ordered an acceleration hearing of the case.

The case was adjourned till May 9.

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