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JUST IN: Pastor Bags Life Imprisonment Gor Raping Church Member

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An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence court on Friday sentenced founder of iReign Christian Ministry, Feyi Daniels, to life imprisonment for “raping a church member”.

The trial judge, Rahman Oshodi, found the Lagos-based cleric guilty of rape and sexual assault of a female worshipper.

The PUNCH earlier reported that the Bishop, who took to the witness box in his own defence, testified that he believed three out of the four women who accused him of sexually assaulting them conspired to turn against him.

While fielding questions under cross-examination, the prosecution’s lead counsel, Babajide Boye, sought to establish that the defendant, Bishop Daniels, had a ‘personal relationship’ with the four women.

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Boye alleged that the defendant had counseled one of the women, given the amount of N100,000 to another for hospital treatment, paid school fees for a third, and related with a fourth as a leader in the campus fellowship affiliated with his ministry at Akungba-Akobo in Ondo State.

But the Bishop denied giving money to one of the women for treatment. He said, “I believe all three ladies turned against me, but not (name withheld) because she later apologised to me.”

When asked why the accusations from the ladies were all sexual in nature, the defendant said he didn’t know.

Boye also accused the defendant of using his position as a Pastor to manipulate persons who come to him for counseling.

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You are a man of God. Are you not? A powerful man of God. You get trained to counsel, and you use wisdom and the leading of the spirit to manipulate,” he asked.

However, Daniels denied this allegation, saying, “I am not a powerful man; I am a pastor. I do not use power to counsel people; I am not a manipulator.”

The Prosecutor further grilled the defendant, “You visited your Akungba fellowship centre, and when she (one of the alleged victims) saw you, she hissed. Were you not surprised as a pastor?

“No. She was disgruntled because I couldn’t help her financially.”

The defendant also denied tampering with the WhatsApp messages between him and one of his alleged victims.

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During the cross-examination, the prosecutor also sought to tender four statements purportedly written by the defendant whilst in police custody at various intervals last year.

There are contradictions between the defendant’s testimony and the contents of the documents. We seek to use them 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,” Boye said.

The defence counsel, Adebayo Adegbite, raised objections to the admissibility of the statements. He argued that the statements were not made by the defendant and that the Bishop signed them under duress.

“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,” Adegbite stated.

Meanwhile, in his ruling, Justice Rahman Oshodi admitted the documents. The judge said, “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.”

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JUST IN: One Missing, 15 Rescued In Boat Accident 

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Not less than 15 people were rescued this evening from the scene of a boat accident in Lagos, where a passenger ferry collided with an unexpected shoreline concrete at a construction site near the power line corridor at the Lekki Ikoyi Link Bridge.

Although one person was still missing as of the time the report was filed.

In a statement by the management of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), one of the passengers was said to have sustained an injury, while another is yet to be accounted for.

In a statement signed by Wuraola Alake of the Public Relations Unit of LASWA, said officers from the Search and Rescue Unit of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, the Marine Unit of the Nigerian Police Force and other relevant agencies were still at the incident location carrying out further rescue Operations.

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Part of the statement reads: “At about 6.50pm today Wednesday 21, 2024, an Ibeshe bound passenger ferry named Tee Ben having departed from Addax jetty, had a collusion with an unforeseen shoreline concrete at a construction site around the power line corridor at the Lekki Ikoyi Link Bridge.

“About 15 out of the 17 passengers said to be on board this boat have been rescued, with one casualty confirmed, while rescue efforts are still ongoing as at the time of writing this statement.

“Officers from the Search and Rescue Unit of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, the Marine Unit of the Nigerian Police Force and other relevant agencies were still at the incident location carrying out further rescue operations.”

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Pastor, Five Others To Die By Hanging For Robbery

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An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital has sentenced six persons to death over their involvement in bank robberies which took place in Akure and Idanre in 2011.

The convicts include a pastor, Adewale Adelu, and five others – Ikechuckwu Maduagwu, Fayemi Olubusuyi, Ropo Adeleye, Dele Otopka, and Bayo Omotosho.

They were found guilty of robbing two commercial banks in Akure and Idanre on November 19 and December 8, 2011 in Akure and Idanre respectively.

They were arrested by the men of the state police command and were charged to court.

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The court delivered the judgement on Tuesday.

When the trial began, the convicts were arraigned before the court on four-count charge bothering on conspiracy, armed robbery, and illegal possession of firearms and were later remanded in Olokuta Correctional Centre.

The prosecuting counsel, F.K Salami, told the court that the convicts and others were “armed with AK 47 guns, dynamite, and other weapons at Oyemekun Road, Akure, conspired to attack and robbed a branch of Diamond Bank Plc, after which they went away with a sum of N30million and different brand of phones, including other valuable property.

“The convicts on December 8, 2011, at 2 pm, were also alleged to have robbed First Bank Plc at Yaba Road, Idanre, where they carted away another sum of N4million.”

According to the prosecution, “the offences contravene Sections 6b, 1 2a, and b of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R11, Vol. 14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

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There were arguments from both the prosecuting and defence counsel at various court proceedings on the matter while witnesses were also invited to the court to testify.

In the judgment of Justice Yemi Fasanmi, on Tuesday, the court held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The judge also said the defendants were unanimous in their confessions and the role each of them played in the robberies.

To this end, Justice Fasanmi “sentenced all the defendants to death by hanging in each of the counts.”

A Court in Akure had earlier sentenced a man, Gbenga Akintola, to 21 years imprisonment for involvement in robbery.

Akintola was apprehended by the Amotekun command and the police in Ondo town in 2021 for using dangerous weapons such as cutlasses to rob three individuals of their money and valuables.

He was later charged and brought before the court on five counts, including conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery.

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Court Remands Anambra Lawyer For Brutalising Maid

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The Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court sitting at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Awka, has remanded a lawyer, Adachukwu Okafor, at the State Criminal and Investigative Department custody in Awka, for allegedly inflicting physical injuries on the body of her 11-year-old housekeeper.

Okafor, who resides at Chris Igwilo Street Akapka GRA, 3-3 Onitsha of Anambra State, was arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court presided by Genevieve Osakwe, in Awka, on Wednesday on two counts.

Okafor allegedly used various objects like a broken bottle, knife, and electric iron to harm her house help in response to an incident involving her daughter.

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The two-count borders mainly on willful infliction of physical injuries on the body of one Happiness Nwafor, an offence punishable under Section 4(1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition and Protection) Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 2017.

The charge was read and interpreted to the defendant to the court’s satisfaction; the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Okafor, who was reportedly said to be on the run, surrendered herself to the Anambra Police Command in Awka, after the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, had placed an N2m bounty on anyone who knew her whereabouts.

Meanwhile, a bail application was made by the defendant’s counsel, Chijioke Nwankwo, but the bail was denied by the court and the matter was adjourned till February 28, 2024, for ruling.

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Speaking to journalists after the court’s session, the defendant’s counsel, Chijioke Nwankwo, when asked why it took his client time to report to the police, stated that he was unaware of any bounty placed on Okafor.

He explained that he was only contacted for the job and he immediately took the defendant to the police.

He, however, complained that the state Ministry of Women and Social Welfare is already doing trial by ordeal, which he noted is not in the best interest of the case.

The victim, an 11-year-old, had since been discharged from the hospital and made an appearance in court too.

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Reacting to the development, the Anambra State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, stated that she trusts the court to do justice.

Obinabo also revealed that her ministry would soon embark on media sensitisation programme, during which Anambra residents would be educated and fully enlightened about the dangers and negative consequences of child abuse.

She said, “We advise members of the public to shun all forms of social vices in the society, especially, those vices that endanger the life of a child; and we called on everyone to be agents of positive social change.”

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