COZA Rape Scandal: Aisha Buhari warns Police IG over intimidation of Timi Dakolo

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Nigeria’s First Lady Aisha Buhari has reacted to the claims by singer Timi Dakolo that “some strange men” made attempts to invade his residence, calling on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to see that justice is done in the rape case involving celebrity photographer, Mrs. Busola Dakolo, and founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo. Mrs. Buhari while reacting to the claim tweeted “ATTENTION: INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE #SayNoToRape #JusticeForRapeVictims #SayNoToIntimidation” 

 

However, the police said it has only invited Timi Dakolo and his Wife Busola as part of an “investigation of a criminal conspiracy, falsehood, mischief, and threat to life.” The letter to Mr. Dakolo from the police, inviting him for questioning, signed by Mr. Kolo Yusuf, a Deputy Commissioner of Police with the Inspector General of Police Tactical Squad, Force Headquarters, Abuja, was dated July 18, 2019. In the letter, the police directed Mr. Dakolo to report for interrogation on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 10 o’clock for “fact findings.”

 

But Mr. Dakolo took to his Instagram page to raise the alarm that the police summons is a sign that all is not well. He also raised an alarm over the movement of strange men in a white Toyota mini bus around his house for reasons unknown to him, saying their sight is scary. He shared the development on his Instagram page, thus, “Strange men at the house with guns.” Sources claimed the policemen were about three. Although there is no official information yet on the situation at Dakolo’s residence, sources say the police presence may not be unconnected with his planned questioning.

 

Timi Dakolo however, shared his fears on his social media page saying: “Our lawyers had told us to get ready for this letter. We have long been ready for your intimidation and dirtiness. For your Ilorin methods and underhand tactics. A pastor? Bribing investigating officials to delay summons? Paying dirty bloggers to fabricate things that cover the truth, going to the IG’s people under dark to force this case to be posted to Abuja? Now this an investigation in Abuja, when you haven’t answered to the rape case against you in Lagos? Rubbishing the legal and criminal system?

 

“And sending a bus load of armed policemen and shady men lying in wait to intimidate my wife and children today, forcing their way into my home? Is that how the REAL police delivers a letter? This is best you can do? This is why all the hurting women and families’ haven’t come against you? You picked the wrong one and you picked the wrong time. Nigerians are more awake than you think.

 

“If it’s a fight you want, it’s a war you will get…your filthiness under the guise of Christianity I will expose. Every single thing. I will fight for my wife and my children -it’s the promise I made with my life and one I intend to keep .I will defend them from the unrelenting attack of a weak man who thinks he can use money and power to cover for all of his crimes. “Like I said, we have since been ready. GIVE US THE FIRE, THEN WATCH ME WORK!” 

 

Last month, Mrs. Dakolo made some serious criminal allegations about Fatoyinbo, where she accused him of raping her as a minor. She alleged that the pastor raped her for the first time at her parent’s home and at another time in a secluded road path. She said the incidents occurred before she turned 18 and added that she lost her virginity to him. Her allegations prompted a wave of protest on social media while protesters also marched on the church’s locations in Lagos and Abuja. Her husband, Timi, had also accused Fatoyinbo of taking undue advantage of women at COZA, and leaving them emotionally broken. He had begun a campaign against such acts before his wife granted the now controversial interview.

Fatoyinbo denied the allegations “in every measure”, saying, “I have never in my life raped anybody even as an unbeliever and I am absolutely innocent of this.” The pastor also threatened a lawsuit and proceeded on “leave of absence” more than 48 hours after the allegations were made. The claims have prompted a number of allegations on social media from women abused or raped by people in authority in religious circles, which some have called Nigeria’s #MeToo moment. About four persons have accused Fatoyinbo of sexual assault.

 

Timi Dakolo said his celebrity photographer wife Busola told him in 2018 about being allegedly raped by Fatoyinbo. “She’s always told me I have something to tell you but she will burst into tears and I will tell her baby take your time,” Timi said during a press conference on Sunday. “She told me last year and if you can remember it was last year I posted that this place you call church is supposed to be a safe place.” He said his wife has tried talking to him about it several times but would only cry or say nothing. 

 

She eventually told him about the rape incidents and that prompted his flurry of social media posts about pastors and their atrocities in church. He also emphasised that he has never met Fatoyinbo or received any gifts from him or being a member of his church. He said his fight is not against the church but a fight to show everyone who has been molested or intimated reasons to share their stories.

 

However, the allegation has remained polarising. While some people are willing to give the pastor the benefit of the doubt, others believe the pastor is guilty as charged. Many pastors, including the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, have also intervened in the matter, ultimately seeking restoration, healing, and justice for both parties.

 

In a related development, Enough is Enough executive director, Yemi Adamolekun Sunday said Timi Dakolo and his wife will have to consult their lawyer before honoring the police invitation. Adamolekun spoke at a press conference in Lagos, where Timi Dakolo was present. “The Dakolos’ lawyer Falana will be responding to the petition filed against them on Monday,” Adamolekun said. “He will ask the police for further clarification and then take it from there.” Adamolekun affirmed that if the Dakolos will honor the invitation there will be a need for the police to transfer the case to Lagos. She said the Dakolos won’t go to Abuja to answer any questions.