A 23-year-old student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, has testified in court against a Cleric, Bishop Oluwafeyiropo Daniel, who allegedly raped her twice and threatened to make her mad if she reported the assault. The Survivor, who remains anonymous, shared her experience as a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Oluwafeyiropo, the founder of “I Reign Christian Ministry,” over a two-count charge of rape.
The incident allegedly occurred in June 2020 at Ikota Villa Estate, Lekki, Lagos. The prosecutor, Babjide Boye, maintained that the offence violated sections 260 (2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015. The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Narrating her experience, the witness, who was a former assistant pastor of the church’s branch in Akungba, told the court that her first encounter with the bishop was on May 28, 2018, during a programme tagged “Strictly Supernatural,” which her friend invited her to. Afterward, she became a church member and was made the Assistant Pastor when her Pastor, Toyosi Bamishe, needed to hand over to Pastor Boluwatife Oladejo.
On June 21, 2020, the defendant ordered her to come to the sitting room for her report of the church, and then he showed her the plans he had for the church in the next five to 10 years. According to the witness, the defendant then went naked and raped her for about 30 minutes, despite her pleas to stop. She suffered tears and bleeding from her private part during the assault.
“He pinned me against a three-seater couch and raped me. He was bigger than me, and I was bleeding from my private part. I was begging him, but he didn’t listen. He said he knew that I should shut up. When he was done, he ordered me to wash up immediately. He collected my phone and cleaned the blood before I came out. He said I should not tell anybody that the day I mean anyone, I will run mad.”
The survivor’s testimony shed light on the ongoing issue of sexual assault and harassment within religious organizations. This case highlights the need for survivors to speak up and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. The trial continues, with the case adjourned till May 24 and 25