Atrocity In the Church! The Busola Dakolo vs Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo Rape Scandal……
The biggest story in Nigeria as at today is the Busola Dakolo versus Pastor Bidoun Fatoyinbo story, where Busola Dakolo, photographer and wife of Musician Timi Dakolo has accused Fatoyinbo pastor of Common Wealth of Zion (COZA) of raping her at 17. This allegation is coming weeks after her husband Timi Dakolo exploded via Instagram posts, where he accused an unnamed pastor of sexually molesting young women in his church.
WakeUpAfrica360 gives you a full account of the story so far.
Busola Dakolo narrated her ordeal in an exclusive interview with Chude Jidenowo, co-founder of Red Media for Ynaija. The interview which was strategically shot inside a church, brought the full reality of the weight of the allegations home.
Busola, who looked very solemn through the interview said “There was no GSM then. I didn’t know and he came to my house. My house then, the gate was open but the living room is where you just knock the door and someone will come downstairs and open the door. However, my mum had traveled with my younger sister. It was just I and my elder sister at home.
“The house was a duplex so big that if you are in a room upstairs you won’t know what’s going on downstairs. So I came down normally, it was 6:30 am to 7 am pretty early, and I heard a knock. Ah, who’s that, Pastor Biodun. I couldn’t say anything because what was he doing here this early?.
“Immediately I opened the door, he just pushed me. He didn’t say anything, didn’t utter any word, he just pushed me to one of the chairs in my living room and I saw him, he was removing his belt.
“So I was like what? And he said, ‘keep quiet, do what I want and you will be fine’. At this point, a whole lot was going on in my head because he was someone I had put up here and I thought was really really concerned about me. I had already filled him in the place of a father that could speak to me, guide me and he was there about to do something I did not believe.
“When I was about to react, he covered my mouth and when he did he said, Busola, listen to me and you will be fine, just do what I want you to do.
“I didn’t struggle, I just left him and he brought out his penis. I was wearing a nightgown and pant, he pulled down my pant found difficulty to enter I was grunting, I would cry and he eventually penetrated, blood dropped on the floor.
“At that point, he finished what he wanted to do, had an orgasm and he zipped up. He left me there, I just sat on the floor and he went out.
“It looks just like an event but after that whole lot damaged within me. He entered his car, came back with Crest a soft drink with green content. It was already opened so he just poured it in my mouth and I had to swallow as he did that.
“He tapped me and said, you should be happy I’m the one that did this to you, and he said I’ll see you and he left.
“He said, ‘be happy a man of God did this to you, disvirgined you’. At this point he was already a pastor in Ilorin, his wife had given birth to their first child Shindara and I was in the choir.”
According to Busola Dakolo, some ministers in the Commonwealth of Zion Church (COZA), Ilorin, knew about the rape and they begged members of her family to cover up the incident. Dakolo said after her family found out that Fatoyinbo was abusing her sexually, they confronted him, “My brother was angry so he took a pocket knife and dragged me to Fatoyinbo’s house. Immediately he saw my brother and I coming, he (Fatoyinbo) quickly came out of his house and said Busola! Busola! What’s the matter?
“My brother’s name is Tunde, he was very mad and told Fatoyinbo, I am going to stab you and kill you, what did you do to her?
“He (Fatoyinbo) started begging saying I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me was just the devil. At that time someone was around, a minister Wole, He is the pastor of the Port Harcourt branch now. Then he wasn’t a pastor, he was a minister in church like prayer minister, so he said we should all go to my house.
“My brother and I went back home and then they came to our house and called another minister. He (Fatoyinbo) started begging saying he didn’t know what came over him, I just stood there and couldn’t say anything.
“Meanwhile the minister who was Wole Soetan and another minister Flow (Folarin Ogunsola), who is my second cousin. They talked and begged me but I wasn’t listening to anything they were saying, because all that was on my mind is that I cannot get back my virginity because it’s been done and the way I think right now, you don’t know my state.
“I told my brother then that I want to leave the church because I wasn’t listening to the word anymore and I told Wole that I want to leave the church. He too when he heard said he was going to leave the church.”
Busola said a lot more in the 4 part video, watch it here
SaharaReporters were the first media platform to reach out to Pastor Fatoyinbo, as soon as the news broke. However, his number was not reachable, neither did anyone reply the email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, for a while.
But as soon as the video started trending, Pastor Fatoyinbo, denied the rape allegation and also threatened to sue Busola Dakolo. Fatoyinbo released a statement on his official Instagram page, where he claimed that several statements had been made to extort the church through blackmail, harassment and intimidation.
The statement read in part, “I am aware that there has been a recent media publication on YouTube by YNaija operated and owned by RED Media Group, which shows an interview by Chude Jideonwo with Busola Dakolo. Prior to now, we had adhered to our policy of ignoring rumours from social media accounts, as we knew that several statements had been made to extort the church of money and myself through blackmail, harassment and intimidation. We have refused time and again to accede to their request, which has infuriated them overtime; because of this, they have got more aggressive.
“Unlike previous statements where innuendos were used and there was no direct mention of myself or the church, the recent video released on YouTube has now made direct criminal allegations against me in the interview granted by Busola Dakolo, which are fallacious, non-existent and which are all denied in every measure.
“As an individual and as a church, we love and support people, we will never condone any form of rape, harassment, or intimidation of anybody. I have never in my life raped anybody even as an unbeliever and I am absolutely innocent of this.
“Busola Dakolo, who has made this false allegation and her family, attended the church during the early start of the church in Ilorin in 1999. I never had any private interactions with her beyond my pastoral duties. Looking at her status and that of her husband, I am dumbfounded by why she would say such a thing.”
Vowing to take a tough stance against the rape allegation, the pastor said in the statement, “We will also not stand for false criminal allegations made against me or the church. The leadership of the church and I have briefed our lawyers to commence criminal and civil actions against all individuals making such false allegations, whether directly or by proxies.
“We will as a church pursue every measure within the ambit of the law to bring culprits to justice. We have heard and we will not be surprised to see more of such allegations by people who have been paid to continue in this line of blackmail, harassment and extortion, including those who may have been dismissed from their duties in the church on disciplinary grounds.
“To all our members and those supporting God’s work, I want to assure you that we would fight this and the Lord will vindicate us. This has always been intended to attack the church; this is the intent of the adversary, the intent is to destroy the church, so please stay focused and prayerful.”
The church also disabled the comment section on its Instagram page, @cozaglobal, due to negative comments which were directed to it. But the page was reopened as soon as Pastor Fatoyinbo released his media statement.
Meanwhile, celebrities from all walks of life have poured in support messages to Busola through her social media handle
For instance, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in her message to Timi Dakolo, said, “What can I say about your wife! A woman of strength, courage. We all, as women, must rise up and demand justice. I sponsored the violence against persons bill, which prescribes life imprisonment for rape. Busola, you’ve got my back!”
Simi said, “I’m sorry this is even your truth at all. God bless you. You’re strong.”
Adesua Etomi said, “Busola, I am so sorry. My heart is with you. May healing from speaking the truth come and may it calm the storm within. You are so brave. I love you.”
“We are all here for you,” Davido said.
Banky W said, “This was so hard to watch. I am so sorry you went through this nightmare. But I am so proud of you for sharing your truth. You didn’t speak up for yourself alone, but for all the voiceless victims who have suffered similar horrors at the hands of predators like him. Sending love, light and support your way. We are standing by you and Timi Dakolo. God bless, protect and strengthen you. Stay strong. You are incredible.”
“My own sis, you are courage itself, I love you and respect Timi Dakolo for his friendship. You both are such an example of what friendship truly is. Thank you for teaching us better. I stand with you,” Mercy Johnson Okojie said.
“I love you, sending you virtual hugs. Thank you for speaking your truth, may more of us be brave like you. May we learn from your bravery and continue to speak up. God bless you and Timi Dakolo. Busola Dakolo I am so proud of you. Love will never leave your home,” Omawumi said.
“If you need a steady hand in court, here’s mine,” Iyanda promised.
Mrs. Busola Dakolo is the second high profile person after Ese Walter to accuse Fatoyinbo of rape. Ese Walter released her tell all statement in 2013, of how Fatoyinbo took advantage of her sexually and spiritually. A lot of people called her crazy, while some claimed she was lying.
Ese who spoke recently on her IG handle says she has been vindicated by Busola’s interview.
Ese wrote -“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
I am one of the crazy ones and today I have never felt more proud of my crazy self. I didn’t do anything because I was brave, I did because I was naive and today I find that even naive is ok. The Universe is aligning for my Boobclan. Just in time for #crestgratitudechallenge.
Welcome to my Ted talk. Good morning from here”
PUNCH made efforts to reach the Spokesperson for the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), who referred them to the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), because according to him, they are the body that deals directly with Pentecostal churches and so were the appropriate authority to comment on the issue. When the correspondent eventually tracked the National Publicity Secretary of the PFN, Bishop Emmah Isong, he said the accused pastor should be the one to respond to the allegation.
“I have not heard about it, I cannot rely on Internet at my level. Why not call him straight and ask him. I don’t know if he is a member of PFN in the first place. I cannot make comment on somebody’s personal life; it is against my ethics. It is very personal; I think the person involved should answer his questions.
“It is not the PFN that raped the person; it was an individual that allegedly raped the person. It would be very funny to interview PFN on the case. I have not verified if he is a member of the PFN. Even if I verify that he is a member, it falls within a different category; it is now a human rights issue. It does not have an organisational implication,” he said.
Eventually, New Telegraph newspaper was able to get in touch with the CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayoukunle, who said the association did not have the authority to look into the matter. While reacting to the issue, the CAN president’s media aide, Pastor Oladeji Adebayo, said CAN would not interfere in the matter, “I am sorry CAN does not intervene in how churches are running. Churches belong to denominations and these are the two bodies that regulate how pastors run their ministries, not CAN. CAN deal with intra-religious matters and stands between the church and the government.“
The Federal Capital Territory Police Command Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah, who was also contacted said the allegation has not been formally reported to the police, so they could not do anything about it.
“The rape allegation has not been reported. I would advise the complainant to report officially to police. I am just hearing it from you. I am not sure the command has got any response to that effect”.
Then again unconfirmed news filtered to the media that some people who claimed to be members of (COZA), have been reaching out to social media influencers for them to use their influence to campaign in defense of their pastor. The news have it that the influencers are offered N2M and above to upload posts in defense of Fatoyinbo, and some of them have already started defending the COZA pastor already. Nigerians who have been venting on social media have pleaded with the social influencers not to accept the Greek gift.
See some reactions below:
mzquinetamadi: “Nothing can stop us we must get to the root of this matter!!! #istandwithbusoladakolo #PastorStepDown”
hube95: “2m? To defend? By church members? Na Nigerians Dey do Nigerians.”
.tolu.: “Oh wow… I just know that with the way this case has escalated… There’s no hiding place for the wicked..”
___realmiracle: “”I know that’s what dey will do. instead of tackling the issue at hand dey are going about using money to shut ppl up….. this which means der is something about this church that this ppl are hiding.”
roseisiagu: “This one cannot be covered up. I suggest they collect the money and still go ahead to keep exposing the truth.”
iamdebbyking: “Anyone who takes money from them is heaping curses upon his family that shall visit them unto their tenth generation.”
Nollywood actor, Stella Damascus has also claimed that Biodun Fatoyinbo molested her friend of 15 years. Nigerians are demanding on social media that Biodun Fatoyinbo should step down from being the pastor of COZA till the whole matter is resolved. Even celebrity Adesua Etomi is also supporting this request.
Timi Dakolo, in supporting his wife’s claims announced the mobilization of a seven-day protest through his IG handle, to demand justice for his wife, Busola Dakolo and others who have come forward to accuse Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion in Abuja (COZA) of rape.
While some protesters under the platform of #ChurchTooMovement have vowed to storm the church headquarters in Abuja on Sunday. They displayed a notice to storm the church, which was widely circulated on social media and it read.
“If you are outraged by the alleged sexual abuses perpetrated by pastors and so-called ‘men of God’, join us for a protest March to COZA church. Meeting point: NNPC filling station, Guzape. Sunday June 30, 2019 8:00 am. Dress code: White top,” The protests will take place at COZA (Lagos and Abuja), Ministry of Justice and the Police Headquarters”.
And early this Sunday morning, the protesters stormed the COZA headquarters church in Abuja to protest rape allegations against the head pastor. The protesters were stopped by angry (COZA) church members, who formed a human shield to prevent the protesters from advancing toward the church building. The protesters, reacted by sitting on the floor at the junction after they had exchanged arguments with the church members, they vowed not to be intimidated.
And watched as pro-Fatoyinbo protesters chanted solidarity songs in support of their pastor. The placard-carrying protesters, who were made up of street urchins, were said to have been paid N10,000 and offered soft drinks as well, so as to counter Timi Dakolo’s support protesters. Some of them were seen smoking cigarettes. While some of the Muslims among them claimed they were supporting Pastor Fatoyinbo because he had been helpful to people in the Gizabe neighbourhood where his church is.
Watch the video below
Meanwhile a similar protest happened in Lagos, as protesters stormed the Maryland, Lagos, branch of (COZA) church. The protesters who also wore white T-shirts convened at Opic Plaza and walked to the church. They carried placards with various inscriptions, which called for the arrest and prosecution of Biodun Fatoyinbo. Famous journalist Kadaria Ahmed led the protests in Lagos.
Some of the placards read, “No to rape”, “Biodun own up” and ”Biodun gbe body e.”
The church authorities however, had invited armed armed military men to secure the church, they watched the protesters from a distance and prevented even reporters from entry into the premises.
One of the conveners of the protest, Princess Olufemi-Kayode, who spoke to Premium Times said multiple rape allegations have been made against Mr Fatoyinbo and the protest is a call for COZA to address it leadership. And that they expected the pastor to step down and face the disciplinary committee. She also revealed that they (the protesters) received threatening calls on Saturday night and that the calls were recorded, while the identities of the callers have been revealed by Trucaller.
Seun Olasebe, who said he is a former member of the church, said it was no coincidence that several accusations have been made against the pastor. “He is a serial rapist, we cannot continue this way,” he said.
Funmi Ajayi of the Community Women Initiative said the protest is about rape, and how it is being orchestrated in the church.
“We have many testimonies against the church, we want to use him as a scapegoat, and we want our teenagers to speak up about how they have been molested by irresponsible men. Our slogan is: Touch not my body, Rape is an offence.”
Meanwhile, COZA members came to church massively same Sunday despite the rape scandal.
The Pentecostal church has not been silent about the rape allegations, some of them have spoken up about it. Pastor Tony Rapu of This Present House, Lekki has given some insights on why many church leaders lack confidence to address sexual abuse.
Rapu says, ‘many leaders lack the confidence to address sexual abuse because they do not feel adequately equipped to handle the complexities involved’. Others do not have sufficient training to address the challenges, sexual or even domestic abuse matters throw up. We need to understand how this issue of sexual abuse can be addressed in the light of the Gospel’ he said.
From child sexual assault to domestic violence to workplace harassment, abuse destroys countless lives. New stories filled with allegations of sexual abuse or assault by leaders and prominent persons continue to emerge. The #MeToo phenomenon has drawn significant attention to an issue that many are afraid to talk about.
I believe many churches desire to get it right on this issue but often do not get involved because leadership may lack the competence to address the problem. Many lack the confidence to address sexual abuse because they don’t feel adequately equipped to handle the complexities involved. Others do not have sufficient training to address the challenges of sexual or even domestic abuse matters throw up. We need to understand how this issue of sexual abuse can be addressed in the light of the Gospel:
Abuse is not just a sin. It is also against the law in many countries. As we have seen in cases globally where there is an attempt to cover up abuse, it is usually in a bid to avoid a scandal. Unfortunately, this produces a system that empowers and protects abusers and in the end it is the abused, particularly minors, who suffer.
We need to be more concerned about dealing with sexual abuse in a way that cares for survivors and demonstrates justice rather than with the fear of what a scandal might produce. We must recognize sexual abuse as a sin but also something that goes beyond the jurisdiction of the Church. This is where many organisations make a mistake by trying to handle sexual assault allegations internally. The Church should be the place where victims of sexual assault find help and hope. Training on how to identify sexual abuse and respond to survivors will help members navigate this difficult topic in a Christ-centered approach. We have a long way to go in not shaming the abused.
We have been too afraid of being attacked by outsiders and too focused on maintaining our image. The truth is that addressing sexual abuse gives us the opportunity to acknowledge our sins and our need of a Savior. It also demonstrates the nature of God to a broken world.
Also Pastor Nike Adeyemi, wife of Reverend Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Center has also lent her voice. She wrote and called out those who are perpetrating crimes in the places of worship on her IG handle. She reminded them that God was watching them in 3D, she also admonished parents to be careful with their children and never leave anything to chance, while also encouraging victims of abuse to break the silence and speak out.
In recent developments, another lady who claimed to have been a family friend of Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo identified as Dr. Dolapo Seji has opened on her on experience with the pastor. According to Dr Seji, who shared on her IG handle, many years ago, Pastor Biodun had made advances at her by inviting her into his hotel room to pass the night. Although she turned it down, she stated that she believes Busola Dakolo because she almost fell a victim.
Dr Seji who first saluted Busola for her courage, stated that her sister was a member of his church and the pastor had become a family friend, on one of his trips to Lagos, he had asked Seji to share his hotel bedroom with him at night.
Being in her twenties at the time, Dolapo suspected there was more to his request even though she said that he made it sound very innocent. Dr. Seji turned down the apparent summon and cut all connections with the pastor. You can see Dolapo’s story through this link below.
Meanwhile, Wale Jana, a COZA member who defended Pastor Biodun over the alleged se’xual assault incurred the wrath of some of his customers. He claims two of his customers destroyed his products, which they had purchased from him, while many others vowed never to patronize the business of the man they are describing as a ‘rap3 apologist’.
Pastor Biodun’s Recent Reaction
Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, reacted to the rape scandal today Sunday, he said he is unhappy about the rape scandal surrounding his ministry. He also went ahead to suspend the seven days programme of the church, saying the “Holy Spirit” directed him to do so.
WakeUpAfrica360.com will keep you updated about this hot and trending topic.