The founder of a church in Lagos State, identified only as Bishop Daniels, has been accused of raping an assistant female pastor at his house in the Lekki area of the state.
The victim told The PUNCH that Daniels, who is married with children, allegedly raped her on two separate occasions, adding that she bled during the incident.
According to the report, the victim, who was based outside Lagos, was summoned to the Lagos headquarters of the church where the incident happened.
She said, “He wanted me to attend a meeting, and the date clashed with my brother’s wedding. So, I didn’t attend the meeting, and as punishment, he ordered church members at my branch not to celebrate my birthday and instructed me to report to the church’s headquarters in Lagos for punishment.
“So, I went to his house in Lekki for the punishment, and when I got there, he said I should strip naked because he wanted to beat me. He was alone at home. He saw that I was shocked at his statement and started making me feel guilty.
“He said his spiritual father tested him in many areas, and after hours of contemplating, he became angry that I disobeyed him. So, I went into the guest room, took off my clothes, and closed my eyes as I came out to meet him. He told me not to close my eyes and ordered me to kneel as he sat on a chair.
“He saw my nakedness and said he wanted to test my loyalty and was not having sex with me. He told me to put my clothes back and after wearing them, he told me to take them off again and I did. He later told me to go and not tell anyone, but after leaving his place, I told some of our senior church members.”
The victim said she returned home, and after some time, Daniels called her to report at his residence over another incident.
She said, “So, while at his house, he told me he would punish me for an offense and said I should transcribe the messages in one of his teachings. The next day, the branch pastor in Ibadan and his wife, whom I met at his residence the previous day, left, so I was alone in the house with Bishop Daniels.
“So, while in the sitting room with him, he attempted to kiss me, and I stopped him; then he slapped me. He was angry and said the last time he told me to go naked; he didn’t do anything with me. So, he left, and I went into the room to sleep.
“The following day, we were in the sitting room listening to a pastor’s message when he said I should go naked again. I did, and surprisingly, he also went naked and raped me for about 30 minutes till I started bleeding because of the tears I sustained despite not being a virgin.
“The incident happened around 10pm; I was dumbfounded. He told me to go inside the room to clean up myself and before I returned, he had cleaned up the blood on the floor. He told me not to tell anyone, but I told a pastor in my church.”
The victim said Daniels did not allow her to leave his house, adding that when he attempted raping her the following night, she pleaded with him that she was tired.
The 22-year-old said, “In the morning, I greeted him, but he didn’t answer. Later, he started saying I should be privileged that he had that kind of thing with me. All of a sudden, he took off my clothes and raped me again, and I still bled the second time. It was traumatic for me.
“He told me to go to the bathroom to wash, and he cleaned the blood before I came out. I picked up my phone and informed the pastor of my branch and another church member of our branch, who decided to come to the pastor’s house.
“Bishop Daniels started begging me and said he never knew what came over him. When the church member came, I wanted to follow her out to tell her the story, but he prevented me from leaving the house. I later left his house, but while thinking about the incident, I felt suicidal.
“I stopped going to the church, and my branch has been closed down. I reported the incident to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, in 2020. But the investigating police officer, inspector Samuel, told me to bring N70,000 if I wanted him arrested.
“I did not have that money and had to stop going to the station. Bishop Daniels started sending people to beg me, but I just moved on. Recently, two other victims reached out to me that Bishop Daniels attempted to have sex with them, and I got someone ready to sponsor my case.
“So, I instituted the case again last month at the FCID Alagbon and he was arrested last week. I want justice, but the police have yet to charge him to court even after I gave them all my evidence, including how he was threatening me over the case and how his wife was begging me.”
Contacted to get his reaction regarding the victim’s allegations, Daniels said, “I don’t know or have any pastor with the name you gave me. If you want to publish an article, I will be glad to make money.”
However, in one of the audio recordings, the victim sent to our correspondent, the bishop was heard telling her that they should commit sin together.
In another audio, the victim was heard crying as she challenged the bishop to tell someone that she wanted sex with him, and he did it.
Responding, Daniels, in the audio, said, “Don’t say that to anybody; I have not even been talking to anybody.”
A spokesperson for the FCID, Niyi Ogundeyi, said following the complaint of the victim, Daniels was arrested and detained for six days.
Bishop Daniels was arrested and detained for six days. Afterward, he was released because he was entitled to bail, and the police had no right to detain him perpetually. He said, “The case was initially reported in 2020, but the complainant said the case was not properly handled, and it was referred to Supol Yemi.
“Meanwhile, investigation is ongoing and an appointment has been given to all parties to visit the command on Thursday. The allegation against him is that he sexually harassed her and other people corroborated the evidence of the complainant. Investigation is ongoing.”