Home Celebrity Gist Another former COZA member accuses Pastor Fatoyinbo of rape

Another former COZA member accuses Pastor Fatoyinbo of rape

by OLATUNJI DURODOLA

Only a week after Fatoyinbo was publicly accused of rape, another alleged victim has made a similar accusation.

Another former member of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) has accused its founder and senior pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo, of raping her.

Busola Dakolo, a celebrity photographer, alleged last week that Fatoyinbo raped her twice in one week when she was a 17-year-old who had just finished from secondary school.

Dakolo’s explosive interview paved the way for several other claims that were posted on social media alleging that the married pastor had groomed a lot of women he’s had sex with, including teenagers.

One of the people who have claimed abuse at the hands of the pastor has now stepped forward to allege that he raped her in the last quarter of 2017.

In an interview with YNaija, the unnamed victim, called X, said she joined the church in 2009 and steadily grew close to Fatoyinbo’s wife, Modele, and the family’s children.

She alleged that Modele groomed her for her husband by giving her access to the family by making her feel special.

She accepted Modele’s offer to take care of their children as a legal guardian in a city abroad, a job that also required her to work closely with Fatoyinbo who visited regularly to minister to his congregation there.

When the alleged rape happened, she was in a meeting with Fatoyinbo at his residence discussing church business.

She said he left his seat and joined her on the couch she was sitting and then attempted to hug and kiss her despite her protests, actions she found shocking.

X said Fatoyinbo ignored her protest and went on to take off her navy blue jean trouser.

“He started to take that off. I remember trying to fight off. I kept on asking him to stop but he just kept on going. 

“He had taken off my button and my zipper was down. And then he had one hand holding me back to the couch and another hand right up in my pant. 

“I think at that point, I pretty much just knew what was about to happen,” she said.

She said Fatoyinbo simply kept saying “Just relax” to all of her protests as he went on to rape her.

“He took off his pants and did what he wanted to,” she said.

She noted that she wasn’t shouting during the incident, but that she was crying and blamed herself for putting herself in that situation.

X further said Fatoyinbo apologised profusely after the alleged rape, and then sent her home.

“I didn’t go there to have sex with him. I didn’t ask to have sex with him. I told him to stop on countless occasions. There was no consent. I didn’t give my consent. I didn’t come on to him. I never saw him as anything other than a pastor and a mentor,” she said.

X said she continued to work for the church and Fatoyinbo’s family after the alleged rape incident until July 2018.

She said Fatoyinbo has further apologised to her for the incident on two different occasions in 2018. On both occasions, the pastor had been called out for alleged sexual misconduct on social media by Timi Dakolo, Busola’s husband.

She believes Fatoyinbo’s apologies were his attempt at damage control and that he had implied financial compensation to ensure her silence.

X also said Fatoyinbo suggested that Busola had seduced him and ‘something had happened’ but he hadn’t known she was a teenager.

While narrating her experience, Busola said Fatoyinbo first raped her in the comfort of her home, and then again in the back of his car, rape incidents which she claimed he admitted and issued an apology to her family.

In his initial response last week, Fatoyinbo denied the allegations “in every measure”, saying that they’re fallacious and non-existent.

“I have never in my life raped anybody even as an unbeliever and I am absolutely innocent of this,” he said in a statement.

Despite his denial, scores of protesters showed up with placards at COZA’s headquarters in Abuja and its Lagos branch on Sunday, June 30, 2019 demanding that Fatoyinbo step down and face a criminal probe.

In another statement on Monday, July 1, Fatoyinbo announced he’ll be taking a leave of absence from the pulpit after taking time to pray and seek spiritual counsel from Christian leaders.

“Drawing from their counsel and that of the leadership of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly and owing to my love for God’s work and the sacred honour of my calling, I have decided to take a leave of absence from the pulpit of the church.

“Although it would break my heart to tatters to stay a day without doing ministry, I believe it is the right thing to do at this time. 

“It is in the interest of the flock of Christ that issues concerning me do not become a distraction to their worship of their Lord,” he said.

Many have called for Fatoyinbo to be probed by the authorities for the several allegations against him, but the Nigeria Police Force says a formal complaint has to be filed before anything can be done.

In his response last week, Fatoyinbo said COZA’s lawyers have been briefed to commence criminal and civil actions against Busola and all individuals making false allegations directly or by proxies.

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