Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo, controversial clergyman and founder of the CommonWealth of Zion Assembly COZA was identified at the ongoing Shiloh, an annual event at Living Faith Church, also known as Winners Chapel, owned by Bishop David Oyedepo.
Three days into the program, it was announced on Thursday night that some pastors and bishops from other churches were present. Fatoyinbo made the list.
It would be recalled that Fatoyinbo was enmeshed in an alleged rape scandal by Busola Dakolo, a Nigerian photographer and wife to soul musician, Timi Dakolo.
Busola had earlier in the year spoke in an engaging video interview, revealed alleged rape incidents on her by Fatoyinbo during her teenage years.
This was coming few years after a lady, Ese Walter a former member of the church had earlier spoken up about similar incident with the Preacher in COZA but the matter died a natural death.
Based on the submissions of Busola, the issue raised, generated several feedbacks from the public both positive and negative.
While some people wondered and queried her for bringing up the matter years after it had occurred, others praised her for her boldness and courage, urging others who have been victims to equally make such exposure.
In the heat of these conversations, hundreds staged protest at the entrance of COZA church in both Lagos and Abuja, demanding the withdrawal of Fatoyinbo from the pulpit.
After several weeks, he did then Busola filed a suit against the Pastor.
The Federal High Court in Abuja in its sitting on Thursday, November 14, 2019, threw out the rape case.
The judge, Oathman A. Musa informed that the suit filed amounts to injustice and an abuse of judicial process noting that the case is empty and purely sentimental.
It equally slammed the Dakolo’s with N1,000,000 adding that the fine ought to be 10 times more because the court’s time was wasted.
Reacting to the judgement, Busola said: “The substance of the suit which is my allegations of sexual abuse leading to emotional distress on my person against Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo has neither been entertained by the court nor ruled upon. I believe that the effect of the injurious claim is a continuous one that transcends time and place.
“This has only made me to wonder more what a country we have? i was particularly surprised at the hearing of the case when the court said the file was missing and later when the court said my own processes cannot be found and finally the case is out of time. This only shows that we have a lot to address to bring sanity to our country.
“Today, I am glad that my voice is not silenced and this is victory for me. I must encourage every woman out there to keep the pace and never stop voicing out against the evil of rape and sexual abuse. Do not be dispirited by today’s court decision.
“No judgement has been made declaring the innocence of Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo. It must be stated that while our experience have a shared theme, the circumstances are different. We must not give up for our victory lies more in finding our voice than anything else. I thank my dear husband for his continuous support, friends, our legal team and all who have been standing with us on this as / assure you all I am very fine. Thank you.”
Fatoyinbo has already resumed his duty of presiding over the church.
It is however uncertain if Oyedepo made any reaction regarding the matter.