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Thursday, 18 July 2019

COZA pastor rape latest: CAN disowns officials that back Fatoyinbo

The Christian Association of Nigeria has said it did not approve of the solidarity visit paid to the embattled senior pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly(COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, who was accused of rape by the wife of singer, Timi Dakolo, Busola, and another anonymous lady.

“The attention of the President of CAN, Rev. Dr. Samson O. A. Ayokunle has been called to a report and a video clip going round that Christian Association of Nigeria has sent her officials to Commonwealth of Zion Assembly(COZA) Church to stand by the Senior Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo on the rape allegation against him,” CAN’s national director of legal and public affairs,” Evangelist Barrister Kwamkur Samuel Vondip said in a statement.

“This message is to categorically inform the Christian leaders, the general public and all lovers of truth that CAN or the President of CAN did not approve and knows nothing about such a solidarity visit,” he added.

In viral footage, the president of CAN Abuja, Reverend Jonah Samson and CAN President North Central, Reverend Israel Akanji on Sunday addressed the COZA members pledging supports for Fatoyinbo.

“I assure you that we are with you and we will continue to be with you. We are in support of the church. We are in support of your pastor. We stand by him and this church will continue to match forward,” Reverend Jonah said.

This, however, provoked backlash on social media as many condemned the association of taking sides without investigation.
Evangelist Vondip said the two officials did what they did on their own and affirmed that they “would not jump into passing judgment without a thorough investigation of the matter.”
“The President of CAN is in communication with the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev. Dr. Felix Omobude and has given the right to investigate the allegations to PFN and then revert to CAN,” Evangelist Vondip said.

“We can tell you that PFN has already constituted a panel that is investigating this matter and in less than two weeks, the outcome of the investigation will come out, ” he added.
Busola Dakolo accused Fatoyinbo of raping her when she was a teenager in an interview. She described how he allegedly groomed her as she attended his then fellowship group, Divine Delight Club – which later transformed into Coza – giving her books, visit her at home, singling her out to sing at meetings and driving her around in his Mercedes.

She claims he then came to her family home early one morning when her mother was away and raped her in the living room, as her sister slept upstairs.
Afterwards, she said Fatoyinbo went to get a bottle of Krest, a fizzy lemon drink, from his car and forced her to drink it, saying: “You should be happy that a man of God did this to you.” She was 16.
He allegedly raped her again a week later on his car bonnet, after insisting on driving her home. Dakolo claimed he said: “You’ll be fine. This thing is not a new thing. Men of God do this.”
She said after she told her family what transpired between the pastor and her, he came to her house with other senior members of the church and apologised, saying the alleged rapes were “a weakness” and “an act of the devil”.

Fatoyinbo denied the allegations saying: “I have never in my life raped anybody even as an unbeliever and I am absolutely innocent of this.”
A few days after another former member of the church alleged that Fatoyibo raped her.
She said the incident happened in 2017 at the Fatoyinbo’s house.
The pastor has since issued a statement saying he was taking “a leave of absence from the pulpit” to “submit to the concerns of (his) spiritual mentors”, and that he did not understand all that was happening. (The Guardian)

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