Founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo, has denied the rape allegations made against him by Busola, wife of sensational soul singer, Timi Dakolo.
Dakolo, mother of three had on Friday made a shocking revelation in a detailed interview with Chude Jideonwo, a lawyer and journalist on YNaija channel of how the Abuja-based cleric raped her as a teenager.
The viral video report has set social media and other online platforms on fire, evoking shock, backlash and criticism from Nigerians.
However, in his reaction, the embattled preacher posted a statement on his IG page @biodunfatoyinbo, denying the allegation, adding that he had never rape a woman all his life.
In the statement addressed from the ‘Office of the Senior Pastor’, Fatoyinbo described the allegation as false and baseless claim targeted at destroying his reputation and that of his church.
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, “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 ambits 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.”