A cleric, Feyiropo Daniels, has told a Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court that he believes the three women who accused him of sexually assaulting them conspired and turned against him.
During his cross-examination before Justice Rahman Oshodi sitting in Ikeja on Friday, the prosecution’s lead counsel, Babajide Boye, sought to establish that the defendant, Mr Daniels, who is the founder of the Lekki-based ‘I Reign Christian Ministry’ had a ‘personal relationship’ with four women.
Mr Boye alleged that the defendant had counselled one of the women, given the amount of N100,000 to one another woman for hospital treatment, paid school fees for one other and related with one other, as a leader in the campus fellowship affiliated with his ministry at Akungba.
The defendant denied giving money to one of the women for treatment.
“I believe all three ladies turned against me, but not (name withheld). She later apologised to me,” He said.
When asked why the accusations from the ladies were all sexual in nature, the defendant said he didn’t know.
Mr Boye also accused the defendant that his position as a pastor and being someone who people approach for counselling put him in a position to manipulate people.
During the cross-examination, the defendant also denied tampering with the WhatsApp messages between him and one of his alleged victims.
Justice Oshodi adjourned the matter to December 20, 2023, for the adoption of final written addresses from both counsel in the trial.
Earlier in the day, the judge admitted four statements purportedly written by the defendant whilst in police custody at various intervals last year. The documents dated, 31 May, 6 July, 17 Aug and 22 Aug, 2022 were tendered by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Boye during the cross examination.
The prosecution had sought to tender the documents, which he acknowledged weren’t confessional, but in a bid to impeach the testimony of the defendant.
“There are contradictions between the defendant’s testimony and contents of the documents. We seek to impeach his testimony. We rely on section 232 of the Evidence Act, that evidence even though obtained improperly is still admissible and we urge the court to admit same.”
The defence counsel, Adebayo Adegbite had argued that the statements weren’t admissible, adding that they weren’t made by the defendant and that he signed them under duress.
When the court inquired from him as to the nature of the intended exhibits as a basis for his objection, Mr Adegbite replied, “the statements are a mixture of confession and denial, we leave it to the court to determine whether they amount to a confession.
Right from the start of this trial, the defendant has denied the charges, that’s his plea. The documents weren’t made voluntarily. Even if there were contradictions, he wasn’t the maker of the documents, they were written by the police.”
In his ruling, Justice Oshodi admitted the four original documents. ” By section 9(3) and (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State (2021), the presence of a video testimony of the suspect is desirable but not compulsory. I will admit the documents and later consider the evidential value to place on them. The objection of the defence is hereby overruled.”