A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Bwari has dismissed the suit filed by photographer, Busola Dakolo, against the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
The court also ordered Dakolo’s lawyer to pay N1million for wasting the court’s time.
Justice Oathman Musa, in his ruling on Thursday held that the matter amounts to injustice and an abuse of judicial process adding that the case is empty and purely sentimental.
Justice Musa said that the case was aimed more at cruelty than obtaining justice.
Busola, who is also the wife of Musician, Timi Dakolo, in her suit filed in September, accused Fatoyinbo of rape. She, therefore, demanded “a personal letter of apology” from the cleric to show honest remorse for his misdeeds.
In the suit, which was filed on her behalf by her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi and Co of Law corridor, Dakolo asked the court to declare that Fatoyinbo’s denial of his alleged acts contained jointly and/or severally through a press statement he released on June 28, 2019, had caused her continuous emotional distress and amounted to intentional infliction of emotional distress on her.
Fatoyinbo’s lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN), however, argued that the prayer could not be granted, describing it as a frivolous suit.
Fatoyinbo had earlier in a press statement responded to Dakolo’s allegations. He declared that he has never raped anyone before.
He thereafter asked the FCT High Court to dismiss the suit filed by Dakolo.
In an application filed through his lawyers, he also demanded that he is awarded a sum of N50 million as damages.
According to the application, he called for the dismissal of the suit on the grounds that it is incompetent and frivolous.
This comes about two weeks after Mrs Dakolo had demanded that the pastor apologises for allegedly defiling her.
In a writ filed on her behalf by her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi and Co of Law corridor, she demanded that Pastor Fatoyinbo pens a clearly worded apology on the front page of at least two national newspapers and two national television stations for seven days running consecutively.
She also demanded that the COZA pastor addresses a ‘personal apology letter’ showing honest remorse for his misdeed.
In the suit obtained Exclusively by Channels Television, Mrs Dakolo told a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja that the defilement by Pastor Fatoyinbo has adversely affected her marital sex life.
Mrs Dakolo also demanded that a cost of action estimated at the sum of N10,000,000 (ten million naira) be paid.
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria on Thursday declared its investigations into the case of rape allegations by the wife of popular artiste, Busola Dakolo, against the founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
PFN National Publicity Secretary, Bishop Emma Isong said a five-man panel sat for over a month with key stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations, church leaders among others.
Ison who spoke at a press briefing on in Ikeja, Lagos added that the committee spoke to the parties involved in the matter.
However, he disclosed that Busola and her husband Timi Dakolo attended the sittings but pastor Fatoyinbo did not show up at any point in time despite several invitations.
Dakolo in an interview alleged sexual assault by Fatoyinbo against her. She said she had to come public over the case because she was speaking up to help other females.
Fatoyinbo had denied the allegations and threatened a lawsuit.
Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, has demanded justice for rape victims.
In a tweet on Sunday, she called the attention of the Inspector of General, Mohammed Adamu, to ensure there is no intimidation of victims in the administration of justice.
This comes after Singer, Timi Dakolo said “strange men with guns” had stormed his home, and the police had served him letters instituting a “false investigation”.
According to him, the development was an act of “institutionalised intimidation” following allegations of rape by his wife, Busola, against the Founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo.
While the police confirmed in a statement on Sunday that they had served official invitation letters on Timi Dakolo and his wife Busola, they, however, said the letters were not synonymous with a Warrant of Arrest.
It further explained that “rather, it is a polite investigative tool used in eliciting information voluntarily from parties to aid police investigations”.
Singer, Timi Dakolo, has raised an alarm alleging that some police officers stormed his residence in Lekki, Lagos State.
He took to social media to state that “strange men with guns” had stormed his home – a move he described as an act of “institutionalized intimidation”.
This comes weeks after social media went abuzz following an interview by his wife, Busola, where she alleged that founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo, had raped her when she was a teenager.
Subsequently, the pastor stepped-down as calls for the case to be investigated mounted.
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says it is seriously concerned about the allegation of rape involving the General Overseer of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
In a statement issued on Sunday by its Acting General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN said: “It is disheartening how some commentators and columnists have been insulting the Body of Christ in Nigeria as a result of this incident.
“Like we have earlier stated, it doesn’t matter who is involved, rape is ungodly and reprehensible.”
Noting that the matter is being investigated, the association appealed to parties involved to sheath their swords.
“As we seek the help of CAN Elders and the Holy Spirit in resolving the current problem, it is our prayer that both parties will sheath their swords and stop the media war in the interest of the Church and for the greater glory of God,” it said.
Read Full Statement below.
CAN Press Statement
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is seriously concerned about the disturbing situation concerning Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, the General Overseer of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), one of our leading Pastors in the country, on whom an allegations of rape has been levelled by one of our daughters, Mrs Timi Dakolo.
It is disheartening how some commentators and columnists have been insulting the Body of Christ in Nigeria as a result of this incident.
Like we have earlier stated, it doesn’t matter who is involved, rape is ungodly and reprehensible.
But we have resisted the temptation to jump into any conclusion since a body like ours will be expected to have uncovered the truth about any matter before making public statements and not base its position merely upon media reports.
Although we have disclosed that Pastor Fatoyinbo’s Church has not been an active member of CAN, that does not put the Church outside the spiritual watch-care of CAN.
CAN is the umbrella body for every Christian and Church in Nigeria.
Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, does not turn back anyone that comes to Him and CAN also does not.
The Ministry of the Church, according to Jesus Christ, is the Ministry of Reconciliation, which is centered on true love and forgiveness of those who repent.
The Bible states it clearly that “God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Roman’s 5:8,11).
Having reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, God has committed to us the ministry of reconciling the world unto Himself and to one another. (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).
Since both Pastor Fatoyinbo and Mrs Timi Dakolo are Christians, the leadership of CAN is already seeking ways to address the issues in order to heal every wound already inflicted on the parties concerned and the body of Christ in general. It is our hope that steps which will exacerbate the current damages already done will be avoided.
As we seek the help of CAN Elders and the Holy Spirit in resolving the current problem, it is our prayer that both parties will sheath their swords and stop the media war in the interest of the Church and for the greater glory of God.
Signed Joseph Bade Daramola, Esq. Acting General Secretary, CAN
The Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre (CCC), Poju Oyemade, has called for justice regarding the allegations of rape involving the Founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
The call follows a recent interview by Busola Dakolo – photographer and wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo in which she alleged that Pastor Fatoyinbo had raped her when she was a teenager.
According to Oyemade, on hearing the news, he immediately contacted the spiritual leader which he said he believes Pastor Fatoyinbo defers in authority to, to wade into the issue and bring about a decision.
“He informed me his position. It was that Pastor Biodun should first step down from the pulpit indefinitely, suspend 7 Days of glory and make a public statement. These he made known to him directly in an hour,” Oyemade said.
When asked of his opinion, the CCC pastor noted that at the foundation, governing structures in Pentecostal churches are not strong enough to ensure that an erring member is sanctioned.
Beyond that, however, he said he had three objectives in mind – Justice, Healing and Redemption.
He also went further to apologise to all those who have been “abused and exposed in our independent Pentecostal structures”, adding that the church will seek to build stronger structures.
Read his full statement below.
My position on the case
I have been asked by many well-meaning people about my position concerning the accusation of rape made against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
I could only watch the tape by Busola Dakolo for a few minutes, it was difficult to sit through it. From what I heard it is impossible not to be heart broken and sympathise with her.
She must have gone through a lot and then to sit to tape her experience must have been very painful.
She is today a wife and mother of three to have to relive a 20yr old experience.
I immediately contacted the spiritual leader in the Body of Christ I believe Pastor Biodun deferrs in authority to, to wade into the issue and bring about a decision.
He informed me his position. It was that Pst Biodun should first step down from the pulpit indefinitely, suspend 7 Days of glory and make a public statement. These he made known to him directly in an hour.
This should serve as the first step. He informed me that was the position and asked my opinion.
We had 3 objectives in mind.
1. Justice 2. Healing 3. Redemption.
I have been informed that the decision to step down and cancel the 7 days of Glory have been made.
It is apparent that the manner in which our Pentecostal Churches were/are born with an individual receiving a call directly from God and we all operating largely as independent bodies, our governing structures are not as strong as in the orthodox church settings with the exemption of Pentecostal denominations where you are appointed a pastor and can be easily sanctioned.
This, however, makes it imperative that we go an extra mile to show a high level of compassion and sense of responsibility for people placed under our care or else what has brought our great growth may be what will destroy us.
For those who have been abused and exposed in our independent pentecostal structures, I deeply apologise and we will seek to build stronger structures through peer reviews and in our relationships.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the act of rape, saying it doesn’t matter who is involved.
“It is ungodly, wicked, and reprehensible”, a statement issued on Sunday by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, said.
It, however, stated that regarding the recent allegations against the Founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, it is yet to get details of the matter, other than news from social media.
According to organisation such information “is not reliable or credible evidence enough to jump into a conclusion”.
It further stated that the CAN Leadership has reached out to the leadership of the block which the Pastor in question belongs, with a view to getting to the root of the matter.
“This will help us to make the right decision on the issue,” the statement read.
Pastor Fatoyinbo recently came under fire following allegations of rape by Busola Dakolo, photographer and wife of talented Musician, Timi Dakolo – the most recent in series of allegations in the past.
In a recent interview, she accused the pastor of raping her when she was a teenager – a story that has resulted in several groups of supporters calling for him to step down and be investigated.
“The truth will either vindicate or exonerate but without a doubt, the truth will serve justice as it heals a hurting society whose faith has been battered and whose hope may be shattered if this is ‘swept under the carpet,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former presidential candidate thanked Busola for “finding the strength and the courage to break her silence & speak her truth”.
Read his statement below.
The wise King Solomon once said … There is a time for everything … A time to be silent and a time to speak.
But you may ask, how do you know when it is time to be silent or to speak up? For me, the answer is quite simple …. when the ‘PEACE of silence’ is taken away from you & the ‘BURDEN of silence’ becomes too heavy to bear.
Only a few people ever find the courage to break out of the PRISON of silence & to speak up about a hurt, a pain, a shame or a fear that has kept them silent for many years.
Please understand that … the way we all react when their silence is broken will either release them into a life of freedom or repress them back into the darkness & bondage of silence; sometimes for the rest of their lives.
Worse still, many of the people who are still under the BONDAGE of silence are also watching to see how we speak & act when someone else finds the courage to break their silence & speak up about something that makes us all uncomfortable.
And so, I thank my dear sister Busola Dakolo for finding the strength and the courage to break her silence & speak her truth. I salute your courage even as I encourage everyone under the bondage of silence to please find the courage to speak up & lighten their burden. Your voice may be the only source of strength and courage that others (who may be in a similar or different circumstance) will hear and be encouraged to break their silence.
Yesterday (Fri.28thJune), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo broke his silence and responded contrary to the allegations.
To be clear, I do not have any desire to be a judge nor do I have the competence to judge such an egregious case but I know this for sure … that serious allegations such as RAPE deserve to be fully investigated especially where the names of witnesses have been mentioned and their identities revealed in the story.
I strongly believe that a thorough and independent investigation can only be in the best interest of everyone concerned as well as in the best interest of the body of Christ & the society at large.
To this end, I call on all leaders in the body of Christ to SPEAK UP & DEMAND A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THESE ALLEGATIONS IMMEDIATELY. With all due respect to all our ‘fathers and mothers of faith’, this is NOT a time to be silent. This is the time to speak up.
Now … the scriptures (in Mathew 5:23) provide us with a guide for such a precarious time as this … “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and then remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar first go & be reconciled to them and then come back & offer your gift.” Without a doubt, Pastor @BiodunFatoyinbo is a gifted preacher & teacher of God’s Word … but, our sister @BusolaDakolo has brought a serious allegation against him. Therefore, in line with the scriptures, it is only appropriate that he leaves his gift (preaching & teaching) at the altar in order to first go and attend to this matter, reconcile with the truth and, if exonerated, then return to the altar to serve God’s people with his gift.
The scriptures clearly advise that he should take a break and step aside in order for this investigation to be concluded & justice pronounced.
This is what great leaders do in every nation we admire. Great leaders hold themselves to higher standards of scrutiny and accountability to the people they lead.
This is why they usually step aside in the face of serious allegations to pave the way for independent investigations without interference.
This is especially the case whenever allegations of serious misconduct or crime such as RAPE have been made and named witnesses can be called to testify.
There may be different sides to a story but there will always be only ONE SIDE TO THE TRUTH … and through the transparent process of an independent investigation, THE TRUTH will surely prevail.
“The truth will either vindicate or exonerate but without a doubt, the truth will serve justice as it heals a hurting society whose faith has been battered and whose hope may be shattered if this is ‘swept under the carpet” he said.
Protesters have stormed the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) in Abuja over the rape allegation against the Founder of the church, Biodun Fatoyinbo.
Bearing placards with inscriptions such as ‘Thou shall not rape’, and ‘Your pastor is not your God’, the protesters are calling on the pastor to step down, and be investigated, among other things.
The protesters had converged on an NNPC filling station close to the church in Guzape before proceeding to the church, which is holding its first Sunday service since Busola Dakolo, photographer and wife of musician Timi Dakolo accused the pastor of raping her, 20 years ago when she was 18.
The pastor has denied the allegation, but many including celebrities and leaders of civil society groups are demanding an investigation and have expressed support for Busola. Many others have also defended the pastor.
The latest scandal to involve the pastor has dominated social media discuss for days with the push for a protest gaining traction through Friday and Saturday.
In 2013, a member of the church, Ese Walters, had alleged that she and the pastor had an affair.
Ahead of the protest, security was tightened at the church with masked police officers, soldiers and members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps stationed around it.