A pastor, Gbenga Filani, who allegedly raped a five-month pregnant woman in Akure, the Ondo State capital, has been arraigned before an Ondo State Magistrate’s Court sitting in Akure.
The defendant was arrested by the police last week after the victim accused him of raping her inside his church when she went for deliverance.
The defendant was arraigned on Tuesday on two counts of rape and assault.
The charge read, “That you, Gbenga Filani, on December 8, 2021, around 3.43pm at the Celestial Church of Christ, Deliverance Parish, No 1, Owuye Close, Fabunmi Avenue, Oda Road, Akure, in the Akure Magisterial District, did unlawfully have carnal knowledge of a 19-year-old woman without her consent, under the pretext of spiritual healing, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 357 and punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
“That you, Gbenga Filani, on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did unlawfully and indecently assault her by touching her private parts against her will, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 360 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.”
According to the prosecutor, Nelson Akintimehin, the offences are punishable under sections 358 and 360 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37, Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
Akintimehin prayed the court to remand the defendant pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
But the defence counsel, Mr Adelanke Akinrata, opposed the application and urged the court to grant his client bail pending the release of the legal advice
He argued that there was no evidence before the court to link the defendant with the alleged offence.
The magistrate, Mr Damilola Sekoni, granted bail to the pastor in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
He said the sureties must depose to affidavits of means, adding that they must also have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
He adjourned the case till January 14, 2022 for hearing.