The Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, on Monday, granted a bishop, Oluwafeyiropo Daniel, who was accused of raping two of his church pastors (names withheld) bail.
Justice Ramon Oshodi however remanded Oluwafeyiropo who is the founder of I Reign Christian Ministry in Kirikiri Correctional Centre pending when he can perfect his bail conditions.
The defendant was granted N20m bail with two sureties in like sum.
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.
Earlier, the defendant’s counsel, Mr Olukunle Oyewole, who moved his bail application dated April 10, urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.
Oyewole contended 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.
The state prosecution counsel, Mr Babjide Boye, in his counter affidavit dated April 14, urged the court to refuse the defendant’s bail application, but however, left it at the discretion of the court.
Boye further 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 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.”
Daniel was earlier arraigned on a two-count charge 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.
According to the prosecutor, the offence committed contravened Sections 260 (2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him by the state.
The case was adjourned till May 9 for trial.
PUNCH Metro had on April 4 reported that Daniel’s planned arraignment was stalled after he failed to show up in court.
The matter, which was listed as number four on the case list of the judiciary, came up before Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja.
The police prosecutor, Mrs Inumidun Solarin, however, informed the court that the defendant was not around.
She noted that Daniel was granted bail by the police at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, Ikoyi.
According to her, the Investigating Police Officer, ASP Yemi Temenu, claimed that when the police visited his house in Ikota, Lekki, it was discovered that he had relocated.
While seeking an adjournment, she said the pastor was in Abuja for a church programme.
The case was subsequently adjourned till April 17, 2023.