Alleged rape: Dakolo’s suit frivolous, COZA’s Fatoyinbo tells court

EMBATTLED Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, has told the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, that a suit filed against him by Busola Dakolo, wife of popular soul singer, Timi Dakolo, is frivolous and statute-barred.

Busola had approached the court to seek redress over a rape allegation she levelled against Fatoyinbo.

She filed the charge against the COZA pastor through her lawyers, Pelumi Olajengbesi & Co., seeking an order of the court to compel Fatoyinbo to publish an apology to her on the front page of at least two national newspapers and two national televisions for seven consecutive days.

Busola had alleged in an interview on June 28 that Pastor Fatoyinbo raped her when she was a teenager in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

She accused the cleric of forcibly having carnal knowledge of her twice in September 2002, saying the alleged rape caused her emotional distress.

The allegation, which was followed by criticisms from Nigerians, forced Fatoyinbo to step aside from the pulpit for some weeks.

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In the course of police investigation into the allegation, Fatoyinbo was detained at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) also set up a committee to investigate the rape allegation but the pastor refused to appear before the committee.

Fatoyinbo hinged his decision not to appear before the PFN committee on advice by his lawyers, saying that he might appear when the police complete their investigation into the matter.

Responding to Busola’s suit, Fatoyinbo, through his lawyer, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), in a preliminary objection dated September 20, stated that the reliefs being sought by the soul singer’s wife in the suit were not grantable.

This, the COZA pastor, stated made the suit incompetent.

In the objection, Izinyon stated that the FCT court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit, submitting that the suit was frivolous and a palpable abuse of court process.

In an affidavit deposed to by Ademola Adetuberu, Executive Senior Assistant to Pastor Fatoyinbo, the pastor claimed that “the substratum of the claimant’s suit is the mere purported allegation of emotional and psychological distress as a result of the said purported mere allegation of rape.”

He claimed further that the allegation of rape was still a subject of investigation by the police.

“That a suit of this nature is statute-barred after a period of three years. The reliefs claimed by the claimant in the suit clearly fall within the limitation law,” he said.

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