By Uche Amunike
Popular Lagos clergyman, Bishop Feyi Daniels, has been remanded by an Ikeja Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Court, Monday, over the alleged rape of two of his church members (names withheld).
According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the bishop, who is the founder of ‘I Reign Christian Ministry’, was remanded by Judge Ramon Oshodi, in Kirikiri Correctional Centre, pending whenever he fulfils his bail conditions.
Judge Oshodi admitted Bishop Feyi Daniels to N20 million bail with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties, he said, must own a build-up property in Lagos state. He also specified that the property must be enough to cover the bail sum.
His words: ‘The original document of the landed property you must be submitted to the chief registrar of Lagos State. The sureties must reside within the Court’s jurisdiction and must have three years of tax payment to the Lagos State government.’
Bishop Feyi Daniels was also instructed by Judge Oshodi to deposit his international passport with the chief registrar of the court and ordered an accelerated hearing of the case, who adjourned the case to May 9 for trial.
Counsel to the defendant, Olukunle Oyewole, urged the court to grant bail to the defendant on liberal terms, as he moved his bail application dated April 10.
He argued that Bishop Daniels had been on police administrative bail since May 20, 2022 and had made himself available to the police.
Hear him: ‘My lord, the defendant was not informed on the day the matter came up for the first time before this court. 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.
On his part, the State lead prosecution counsel, Babajide Boye, urged the court to refuse the bail application of the defendant, while presenting his counter affidavit dated April 14. He however left it to the discretion of the court.
He argued that alleged rape was a serious offence which would make the defendant a flight risk because of the likelihood of conviction.
He further stated: ‘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.’
According to NAN report, the clergyman was earlier arraigned on a two-count charge on rape, which he pleaded not guilty to.
Prosecution stated, however, that Bishop Feyi Daniels allegedly committed the offences in June 2020 in Ikota Villa Estate, Lekki, Lagos, maintaining that the alleged offences contravened Sections 260 (2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.