COZA saga: PFN declares probe of rape accusation against Fatoyinbo inconclusive
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has declared probe into the rape accusation by celebrity photographer, Busola Dakolo against founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo inconclusive.
It said the five-man investigative panel it set up sat for over a month with presentations and attendance by key stakeholders such as Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), church leaders and others.
National Publicity Secretary of the PFN, Bishop Emma Isong, who briefed reporters on Thursday on the outcome of the panel’s sitting said Busola and her husband, Timi Dakolo also attended the sittings.
He however said the panel could not conclude its work because Fatoyinbo refused to show up despite “several invitations and efforts.”
According to Isong: “The panel met for over one month and interfaced with parties involved in the matter. Unfortunately, all attempts to meet with Fatoyinbo failed despite many efforts we made.”
Asked what efforts they made specifically, he said Fatoyinbo was invited through letters, calls and proxies without any success.
Isong stressed: “Several efforts were made. Several calls were made but he rebuffed us. He shunned the invitation of the panel to defend himself.”
He said since the accused was absent, it would be impossible for the panel to conclude on its investigation.
PFN however commended the Dakolos for showing up at the panel.
It said: “PFN appreciates the respect that Mrs. Dakolo and her husband accorded the panel by showing up and interacting with members.”
It lamented Fatoyinbo snubbed the panel despite asking the body to intervene during the heat of the accusation.
Dakolo accused Fatoyinbo of raping her 20 years ago when she was a 16-year-old attending the church with her family in Ilorin, Kwara state capital.
The accusation attracted public outcry and protests in the Abuja headquarters and Lagos branch of the church following which Fatoyinbo stepped aside from the pulpit on July 1 to allow for investigation.
He denied the accusation, saying he had never raped a woman all his life.
He however returned to the pulpit on August 5, sparking another round of public outcry.