An Ikeja Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Court in Lagos heard testimony from a 23-year-old lady on Tuesday about a well-known Bishop in Lagos named Daniel Oluwafeyiropo who reportedly sexually assaulted her twice.
Bishop Daniel, the founder of I Reign Christian Ministry, is on trial for a three-count modified charge that includes elements of rape and sexual assault. He has pled not guilty to all of the counts.
He was alleged to have committed the offence sometimes in June 2020 at Flat 4, Road 2, House 18 Ikota Villa Estate, Lekki, Lagos.
The 23-year-old woman (name withheld), who is an assistant pastor at his church, testified for the prosecution at the bishop’s trial on Tuesday, May 9th.
She told Justice Ramon Oshodi that she was abused twice by the Bishop in his residence.
The witness said she knew the bishop on May 28, 2018, when her friend invited her to a church programme where the bishop ministered at Akungba, Akoko, Ondo State.
She said she became member of the church in Akungba and rose to the position of assistant pastor.
She told the court that the Bishop, she regarded as her spiritual father abused her sexually at his residence on Flat 4, Road 2, House 18 at Ikota Villa Estate, Lekki, Lagos on June 21, 2020.
Recounting the incident, she said,
“I was listening to Pastor Chris’ message when bishop came to the three-seater sofa, I was sitting on. He told me to go naked for the third time, but due to the fear of what happened a day before, I went naked. The bishop locked the door, increased the volume of the television and he went naked too.
“He squeezed and pinned me to the chair and sexually abused me. He was bigger than me, so I was bleeding from my private part. I pleaded with him, but he did not listen.
“When I told him of the bleeding, he said he knew that I should shut up. He then directed me to go and wash up. He collected my phone and cleaned the blood before I came out of the bedroom. He threatened that if I tell anybody, I will run mad. So, I was in the guest room till the following day.
“On June 22, I sent a message to pastor Boluwatishe and told him through a WhatsApp code, which we usually chat, that I had been violated.”
She continued that Bishop did not allow her go out of the house after the first alleged sexual encounter with him.
“He sent the gateman instead anytime I needed anything. It was at this time that it was dawn on me that this man is a rapist. So, for my safety, I was acting stupid and acted like I did not tell anyone.
“I was in the room when he came to me again and said he wanted to have sex but I refused. He was very angry, so I told him I had bruises on my private part from the previous sexual violation.
“I was coming out from the room to the kitchen, on June 23, when he came out of his room too, wrapping a towel and said he wanted to have sex with me. He said I should count it as a privilege that he violated me because many people would love to have sex with him, but I told him I have someone I am dating that he is not attracted to me.
“In the living room on that same morning of June 23, he took off my dress and raped me again. He told me I would die if I told anyone. I bled the second time because of the forceful entry.” She added.
She further testified that the Bishop had earlier made a phone call to her on June 5, 2020, asking her and some other pastors to come to his house in Lagos.
“On June 19, when I got to the house, the Bishop came out from the room, saying that I have a query to answer. He said the punishment for me was to transcribe his message titled, ‘Fulfilling my Ministry.’
“The following day on June 20, only the Bishop and I were left in the house after others pastors had left. He told me to go on a three-hour prayer work around the estate, but I came back home 30 minutes prior to the elapse of the prayer hours due to a heavy downpour.
“So, he queried why I came back to the house earlier. I told him it was due to the heavy downpour. When I entered the guest room where I used to sleep, I met one Sister Jummy, who was also a church member. She was about taking her leave when I came inside the room.
“I was seated on the couch that same day, listening to pastor Chris message when the Bishop walked up to me from the dining section and made comments on the teaching I was listening to.
“He ordered me to go naked again, which I did for the fear of what had happened prior because the bishop accused me of not being submissive and loyal to him as my spiritual father.
“He said he wanted to know my loyalty and see if I have finally submitted to him. I told him I could do anything for him but sex. He tried kissing me and I stopped him, then he slapped me.
“His eyes turned literal red, he was shouting, and I was already in tears as the slap was a very hot one. He started telling me how he had thought me about honour and said that an angel came to him a night before and urged him to ask me to go naked.” She said.
She said the Bishop told her that an angel was going to test her to go naked and that she needed to prove the angel wrong by fully submitting to him.
“He said he liked his wife so much that he could never have sex with me. He was in tears and said that I could not submit to him. So, he ordered me to put on my clothes. I started begging him, but he said that I had disappointed him.”
She further told the court that after the Bishop allegedly had sex with her the second time, he came back begging her.
She also told the court that the Bishop sent her the sum of N5,000 while he was in Ghana to treat herself after the bruises she sustained turned to boils, and she could no longer urinate.
After listening to her testimony, Justice Oshodi adjourned the case to May 24, 2023, for cross-examination and continuation of the trial.