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COZA: Comedian, Alibaba slams pastors for keeping silent over rape allegations

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COZA: Comedian, Alibaba slams pastors for keeping silent over rape allegations

) Veteran comedian and social commentator, Alibaba has called out prominent pastors for keeping mute over the rape allegations levied agaisnst Biodun Fatoyinbo, pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).


News Agency of Nigeria reports that Fatoyinbo, who has stepped down, was accused by Busola Dakolo of raping her as a teenager causing wild outrage on and off social media.

Despite the various comments on the issue, pastors of prominent Nigerian churches are yet to speak.

Alibaba noted that the case would have been different if it was about members of the church and not a fellow pastor.

He wrote @alibabacfr on Instagram, “When it comes to preaching against what members of the congregations are doing wrong, its in Vol 1, 2 and 3.

“Fornication, smoking, indecent dressing, drinking, night clubbing, polygamy, divorce, robbery, domestic violence, terrorism, being stingy, racism, corruption, greed, homosexuality, adultery, mixing with bad gang.

“But touch, not the Lord’s anointed and do my profits no harm,” Alibaba said.

NAN reports that although Fatoyinbo denied the allegations, he stepped down on Monday following peaceful protests at COZA branches in Lagos and Abuja on Sunday.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi

Anita Eboigbe: 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

Judiciary

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

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COZA: Coalition of lawyers urges IGP to ensure justice

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The Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) has urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu to ensure justice is served in case of rape involving Mr Biodun Fatoyinbo, Senior Pastor, Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).


The allegation necessitated the stepping down of Fatoyinbo as the Senior Pastor of the church.

However, Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi, Convener of COPA in a statement on Monday urged Adamu to ensure the matter was not swept under the carpet and that the suspect should be tried in Lagos where the matter was reported.

“Our demands are simply that the matter be allowed its due course within the jurisdiction where the complaint was filed.”

He called on the police to take urgent action on the matter that had already in the public glare without giving rooms for doubt in their ability.

He also called for the execution of a valid and active warrant of arrest against Fatoyimbo in order to restore the confidence of the ordinary Nigerians.

The COPA leader further stated that the coalition would diligently continue to monitor matters as they arise to ensure fairness and justice.

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You must be investigated in spite stepping down, lawyers tell COZA Pastor

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) The Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) on Monday urged Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, to surrender himself for investigation having stepped down from the pulpit as senior pastor of the church.


Fatoyinbo had been the subject of discussion since last week after Mrs Busola Dakolo, wife of inspiration singer Timi Dakolo, accused him of raping her when she was 17 years.

He stepped down on Monday but still insisted that he had never raped anyone before, ‘not even as an unbeliever’. The allegation had elicited reactions from Nigerians, including those in the presidency.

However, Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi, Convener of COPA, in a statement on Monday commended Fatoyinbo for stepping down as senior pastor in COZA but urged him to take it a step further by reporting to the police for investigation.

“We at COPA are of the mind that while the above is a good way to start that, Mr Biodun Fatoyinbo must take a step further in the interest of addressing and assuaging public interest by reporting to the Nigeria Police Force voluntary, a truly neutral arbiter in this instance, to provide answers to public queries on the matter.

“This is in view of making sure that the results of the investigations from both the church committee and the Police, being independent sources, would satisfactorily put to rest all sundry issues generated by the intense rape allegations hanging over him.

“A man of clear conscience fears nothing and we hope that it would never come to the point where Mr Biodun Fatoyinbo is compelled beyond personal alacrity to do the needful and submit self to the Police for questioning.

“Needless to say that his status as a popular man of God and the issue of betrayal of fiduciary trust, infidelity and the crime of rape makes it imperative that no room is left for doubt to exist on his innocence of the claims against him, he said in the statement.

“Conversely, by voluntarily submitting himself to the Police for questioning, he makes a much needed statement in lieu of his claims to innocence.

“It also affords the public the opportunity to pursue further actions where it is established that he may in fact have criminal issues to answer to or not.”

Olajengbesi said that COPA would continue to monitor events as they unfold to ensure that no rights are abused, nor any process skewered to favour one party against the other in this matter.

The COPA Convener while urging the pastor not to slack in establishing his innocence, noted that where justice must be done, it must be manifestly seen to be done.  

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Breaking!!!!COZA pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo steps down

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) Biodun Fatoyinbo, the senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), says he has decided to step aside from the pulpit of the church.


News Agency of Nigeria reports that Fatoyinbo announced this in a statement released on Monday where he said the move was the advice of his mentors.

The statement read, “the past few days have been very sobering for me. I have taken time to pray and seek spiritual counsel from Christian leaders around the world who feel very concerned about the ongoing reports in the media.

“I have solicited their advice on actions I should take that are honouring to our Lord Jesus Christ and the work he has called me to do.

“Drawing from their counsel and that of the leadership of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly and owing to my love for God and the sacred nature of my calling, I have decided to take a leave of absence from the pulpit of the church.

“This step enables me to submit to the concerns of my spiritual methods ad they consider all the issues that have been raised against me. My confidence in the Lord remains unwavering.

“Though I do not understand what is happening, I trust the Lord to lead and guide me one step at a time.

“Kindly pray for me and the congregation of COZA as we seek the face of God during these turbulent times,” Fatoyinbo wrote.

NAN reports that consistent calls had been made for Fatoyinbo to resign following the allegations by Busola Dakolo that he raped her as a teenager.

The calls trended online with the tags #PastorStepDown and #NotMyChurch and culminated into peaceful protests at COZA branches in Lagos and Abuja.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi

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

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