Following an allegation of rape against a Lagos-based pastor, identified only as Bishop Daniels, two former members of his church have claimed that they were also raped by the cleric.
The two victims, who spoke to The PUNCH on condition of anonymity, said the suspect used a similar trick of summoning them from their branches to his house in Lekki, Lagos State, claiming that they committed offences for which they would be punished before sleeping with them.
The publication had earlier reported that an assistant pastor in the church’s branch outside Lagos accused Daniels, who is married with children, of raping her twice at his Lekki house, adding that she bled in her private parts.
The 22-year-old victim said she petitioned the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, in a bid to get justice
Daniels, when contacted, denied knowing any pastor bearing the victim’s name.
But the spokesperson for the FCID, Niyi Ogundeyi, said Daniels was arrested and detained for six days over that incident.
The two latest victims, in separate interviews with our correspondent, said they had also petitioned the FCID over the matter.
Recounting her ordeal, one of the ex-worshippers said Daniels also raped her twice, adding that in one instance, the pastor made her lose consciousness.
She said, “He summoned me to his house in Lekki, Lagos, for punishment and when I got there, he immediately ordered me to get an alcoholic drink.
“After getting it, he ordered me to drink it, but I refused. He got angry that I disobeyed him and kept compelling me to drink it. After drinking a little portion, he told me to drink on, till I became unconscious.
“I found myself naked after he woke me up the next day. He told me he was going out and warned me against opening the door for anybody as he left. I was completely naked and felt his semen around my private parts.
“I cleaned myself and while in the house, a church member, Rachael, knocked on the door. I opened the door and she went inside to pick something and left. When Daniels returned, I told him Rachael came and he became angry that I opened the door for her and started asking if she saw me naked.
“I came to his house from Ekiti State, but he chased me out around 4pm. I got to the park to board a bus to Ekiti around 7pm and the bus departed for Ekiti around 9pm. We had to stop on the way when it was very late. We got to Ekiti around 7am the next day.”
Another former worshipper at Daniel’s church said he used the same tactics of suspension and punishment to lure her to his house in Lagos, where he allegedly raped her.
She said, “I didn’t do anything wrong in church, but I was suddenly told that I had been suspended and should report to Lagos. Daniels told me to tell the assistant pastor of our branch that I was reporting at the church in Lagos instead of his house.
“When I got there, I had not even dropped my bag or rested from the long journey when he said I should go naked. I said, ‘Go naked like how?’ and he slapped me. I was alone with him and afraid. I quickly pulled off my clothes and after seeing my nakedness, he said I should go and have my bath.
“Later on, he asked if I took alcohol and I said no. He said there was a type of alcohol that I could take that was nice. He gave me the alcoholic drink, I drank it, got drunk and he started making sexual advances at me. Even in my state, I resisted, but he forcefully had sex with me. I had to leave his house and return to school.”
The victim lamented that Daniels allegedly raped her on multiple occasions, adding that he was also used to drinking alcohol.
Asked why she kept visiting Daniels’ house despite her experience, she said, “I don’t know; it was like I was scared; everyone is scared of him. I was 18-year-old and he manipulated me in many ways. Sometimes, he lured me to take alcohol or pills and had sex with me when I became unconscious.
“At times, he would just give order to me to go naked and forcefully have sex with me. Other victims can confirm this. He did not act like he was a pastor with me. I saw him drink alcohol to the point that he started staggering in the whole room, and at times, he vomited. He also gave me different things to swear that I would not tell anybody.
“The second experience was even worse. Despite forcefully having sex with me, he brought a lot of ladies to his house, gave them drugs to use and claimed he was counselling them. He made me do things that were beyond my age when I was 18 years old.
“After I left his house and church, the experiences affected me to the point that I stopped talking to people and had to be taking pills to sleep. I want justice to save other victims.”
Recordings of other ex-worshippers narrating their ordeals in the hands of Daniels were obtained by our correspondent.
The FCID spokesperson, Ogundeyi, confirmed that the two victims had also made statements against Daniels.
He said, “Apart from the first complainant (assistant pastor), two other victims have made statements that he raped them. Apart from these three victims, we are expecting two other ladies that said they were also sexually abused by this Bishop Daniels.”
Meanwhile, our correspondent monitored online comments on the assistant pastor’s story against Daniels, which was published on punchng.com and through its social media handles.
While some readers commended the 22-year-old for having the courage to speak out, others blamed her for visiting Daniels’ house after the first rape.
Responding to the criticism, the victim, who stated that some of the comments were depressing, said, “My first and second encounters had a six-month interval. I visited his house knowing that he was not alone. I met a pastor and the pastor’s fiancée at his house and we all slept there.
“The pastor and his fiancée left the following day and it was after he realised I was alone with him that he raped me. It was after the incident that I believed a church member’s claim of sexual assault against Daniels and how he did everything to make sure she had no evidence.
“I knew at that moment that I needed evidence and started acting stupid to get it. He used names of highly revered priests to manipulate victims. I have recordings and chats with him to prove my case.
“In fact, he usually ordered me to delete my chats with him and before deleting, I would screen grab and send to a confidant. I have submitted all the evidence at the FCID, Alagbon. He needs to be stopped because of the safety of other people.”