COZA Pastor Rape Scandal: Nigerians call for probe, Fatoyinbo denies rape allegations
Furious Nigerians since yesterday have continued to inundate the social media with calls for the investigation of allegation of rape made by Busola, wife of popular musician Timi Dakolo, against founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Abiodun Fatoyinbo.
Busola claimed in an interview which immediately went viral on the social media that the clergyman raped her when he visited her parents’ home some six years ago when she was under 18 years old.
Pastor Fatoyinbo In his twitter handle denied the allegation.
“It is fallacious, I have never raped before,” he said.
Busola, in the interview, aired yesterday said Fatoyinbo whose church member she was at the time of the alleged rape, sexually abused her twice before she left the church.
Mrs Dakolo said the case was known to church leaders who tried to cover it up.
She said Fatoyinbo pleaded with her and her family to forgive him and blamed the devil for his behaviour.
The allegations sparked a heated debate on the social media with some Nigerians asking the security agencies to investigate the allegations.
Anthony .O. Onochie, tweeted: “The matter should be reported to the appropriate authorities for investigation, both parties are adequately resourced to confront the issue on all levels legally.”
Replying to a tweet by former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, Success Sankara said the matter should be taken over by the government.
“In my opinion, this should be a State Vs Biodun Fatoyinbo case. The @PoliceNG should immediately open an investigation into this allegations to serve as a deterrent to others. Many girls today are afraid to speak out for fear of being victimized.”
Another user, Emmy Wise, said: ‘If Busola is sure of what she is saying and with evidence, let her sue him (Fatoyinbo) to court.”
Also commenting, a Twitter user who simply gave his name as Gerry said:
“I think there are procedures for getting justice on either side. A statement and then both will slug it out in a court of law. Opinions may be swayed in the public court but justice must prevail. The Otobo case is still fresh in our memories.”
Expressing his view on the allegation, another Twitter user, Obuseh Jude ,posted: “It will be interesting to see how this pans out! How will the security agencies and other law enforcement agencies react to the revelation. Justice must be allowed to take its course.
I have never raped in my life, even as an unbeliever – Fatoyinbo responds
A few hours after the allegations were made Fatoyinbo issued a rebuttal saying: “I am aware that there has been a recent media publication on YouTube by YNaiia operated and owned by RED Media Group which shows an interview by Chude lideonwo with Busola Dakolo.
“Prior to now, we had adhered to our policy of ignoring rumours from social media accounts as we knew that several statements had been made to extort the church of money and myself through blackmail, harassment and intimidation.
“We have refused time and again to accede to their request, which has infuriated them overtime, because of this they have gotten more aggressive.
“Unlike previous statements where innuendos were used and there was no direct mention of myself or the Church, the recent video released on YouTube has now made direct Criminal allegations against me in the interview granted by Busola Dakolo which are fallacious, non-existent and which are all denied in every measure.
“As an individual and as a Church we love and support people, and we will never condone any form of abuse, rape, harassment, or intimidation of anybody.
“I have never in my life raped anybody even as an unbeliever and I am absolutely innocent of this.
“Mrs. Busola Dakolo. who has made this false allegation and her family attended the church during the early start of the church in llorin in 1999.
“I never had any private interactions with her beyond my pastoral duties; looking at her status and that of her husband, I am dumbfounded why she would say such a thing.
“As expected under the ethics of journalism, it would have been expected that I should have been confronted with these false allegations prior to any publication, instead of resorting to social media with the intent to ruin my reputation and bring down the church.
“We will also not stand for false criminal allegations made against me or the church; the leadership of the Church and I have briefed our lawyers to commence Criminal and Civil actions against all individuals making such false allegations whether directly or by proxies.
“We will, as a church pursue every measure within the ambits of the law to bring the culprits to justice.
“We have heard. and we will not be surprised to see more of such allegations by people who have been paid to continue in this line of blackmail, harassment and extortion including those who may have been dismissed from their duties in the church on disciplinary grounds.
“To all our members and those supporting God’s work, I want to assure you that we would light this and the Lord will vindicate us. This has always been intended to attack the church, this is the intent of the adversary, the intent is to destroy the church, so please stay focused and prayerful.”
Meanwhile, members of the Commonwealth of Zion (COZA) appear unmoved by Busola Dakolo’s allegations against their founder. Many of them vowed not to miss Sunday’s service irrespective of the allegations hanging on their overseer’s neck.