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Court dismisses rape suit against COZA Pastor, fines Bisola Dakolo N1M

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An FCT High Court sitting in Bwari, has dismissed the rape case instituted by a socialite, Mrs Busola Dakolo, against the Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The court in its judgment absolved  Pastor Fatoyinbo from the alleged rape on the grounds that the case of the plaintiff is purely sentimental and empty.

Justice Othman Musa while dismissing the rape suit awarded costs of N1,000,000 against Dakolo to be paid to the Pastor.

Musa held that it would have been 10 times more but resisted it because there might be other women with legitimate claims who may approach the court for justice. 

Dakolo, wife of popular artist Timi Dakolo had accused Fatoyinbo of raping her while she was a teenager.

She approached the court to demand for justice and compensation.

Precisely, Busola Dakolo accused Pastor Fatoyibi of raping her in the year 2002.

On his part, the COZA Senior Pastor filed an objection to the suit and supported it with an affidavit claiming that Busola’s statements were false and concocted to embarrass, scandalise and ridicule him.

He said in the affidavit that from the inception, the plaintiff sought the attention of the media and press and brought the civil action even while the Police investigation was ongoing.

According to Fatoyibi, her false claims were stale and an abuse of judicial process.

After parties argued their briefs, Musa held that the matter amounts to  an abuse of judicial process.

He further held that the case is purely sentimental and empty, having no concrete facts known to law and legs to stand upon.

According to the court, the case carries more of cruelty in it than justice.

Before the judgment was delivered,
Fatoyinbo had described the suit as frivolous and statute barred.

Fatoyinbo, through his lawyer, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, in a preliminary objection dated 20th September, 2019, said the reliefs sought by Dakolo in the suit are not grantable, which makes the suit incompetent.

Izinyon said the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit adding that the suit is frivolous and a palpable abuse of court process

In an affidavit deposed to by
Ademola Adetuberu, Executive Senior Assitant to Fatoyinbo, he said the substratum of the claimant’s suit is a mere purported allegation of emotional and psychological distress.

He further said in the affidavit that the said purported mere allegation of rape is still a subject of investigation by the Police.

Dakolo had last month approached the court to seek redress in the allegation made against pastor Fatoyinbo.

In the substantive matter, Dakolo, through her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesiis sought the order of the court to compel  Fatoyinbo to publish a clearly worded apology to her  on the front page of at least two (2) National Newspapers and two National Televisions for seven days running consecutively.

Plaintiff had two months ago made a shocking revelation in a detailed interview with Chude Jideonwo, a lawyer and journalist, of how the Abuja-based cleric allegedly raped her as a teenager.

She claimed that  Fatoyinbo had sexual intercourse with her on September 23 and September 26, 2002, caused her continuous emotional distress and amount to intentional infliction of emotional distress.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

Ebere Agozie: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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