[Featured Photo: Pastor Fatoyinbo and Mrs. Busola Dakolo]
After nearly nine hours with the Police, the Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Abiodun Fatoyinbo, was on Tuesday night granted an administrative bail to go home as investigators continue to seek to unravel the veracity of an allegation by one of his former congregants, Busola Dakolo, that he raped 20 years ago when she was 16.
Two pastors of COZA were also invited and quizzed by the Police.
Bukola, singer Timi Dakolo’s wife, made the alleged in a widely circulated post on mainstream and social media that the flamboyant cleric visited her home in Ilorin and defiled her, though she did not raise an alarm then.
She is believed to have taken on the pastor because of alleged malicious social media posts targeted at her from a group allegedly affiliated to the church. Sadly, it is not the first time Fatoyinbo has been linked to immoral tendencies by women.
In fact, after Busola went public, a rash of posts emerged in the media space making similar allegations, but most were adjudged by the public as spurious and unfounded.
After his sojourn with the Police, it is not clear if the founder of COZA will now make himself available to the panel set up by the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) to investigate the allegation against him.
Fatoyinbo, on Friday said he did not appear before the investigative panel because a prejudicial position had been taken by PFN National President, Bishop Felix Omobude.
Recall that the PFN said last Thursday that its probe into the allegations against Fatoyinbo was inconclusive because he declined to show up after several invitations. Fatoyinbo was accused by Mrs. Busola Dakolo, music artist Tim Dakolo’s wife, of raping her over two decades ago when she was 16.
Senior Assistant to the COZA Pastor, Ademola Adetuberu, in a statement in Abuja on Friday said that a legal advice also informed his principal’s decision not to appear before the panel.
He said: “We recall that when Pastor Fatoyinbo was invited by a phone call few days ago by Pastor Akinola Akinwale who is the National Administrative Secretary of PFN, we explained that our pastor would not honour the invitation due to legal advice hinged on the ongoing police investigation.
“The legal advice was also premised on the press statement issued and personally signed by the PFN President, Bishop Felix Omobude, where our pastor was publicly disowned.
“Based on the foregoing, we are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the PFN was already prejudiced and may not conduct an impartial session.
“According to the report, Rev. Omobude, whom we hold in high esteem, went further to crucify our pastor without seeking to know his side of the story on the matter.
“With all due respect, we consider this a prejudicial position in dispensing justice and fairness.
“Even our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was given an opportunity for a fair hearing by the kangaroo panel set up with the prime motive of condemning Him to death.”
He added that once the police investigation was over, his pastor would honour the invitation.
“We have also been legally advised to deploy judicial intervention to clear our pastor as soon as possible, and the process has commenced in earnest,” he said.
On Thursday, PFN, through its National Publicity Secretary, Bishop Emma Isong, told journalists that the panel sat for over a month with attendance by the Dakolo’s, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), church leaders.
His words: “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.
“Several efforts were made. Several calls were made, but he rebuffed us. He shunned the invitation of the panel to defend himself….
“PFN appreciates the respect that Mrs. Dakolo and her husband accorded the panel by showing up and interacting with members.”