|Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of COZA|
|Timi Dakolo & Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo|
It’s like it is becoming a common thing for people to accuse the flamboyant pastor of the Coza Ministries of sexual indiscretion nowadays. A few years back, a lady then came out with gun blazing and not in any way trying to exonerate herself and accused the man of (God) then of something very similar.
She related the story of what transpired then between her and her beloved pastor who later took advantage of her. She spoke of tryst in hotel(s) and how they had their fill of wantonness and debauchery. That story of sexacapade was heavy enough to have brought down a ministry then, but the way it was rationaled then was that, the lady was either having brain issues or was a woman scorned, who had wanted to get own 5 minutes of fame. Instead of the people, the church and church leaders to have examined the merit of what the lady raised then, they dismissed it and all was swept under the carpet.
At the end of it all, the lady – Ese Walters, who came out confessing her own part and felt that was one of the ways she could have gotten forgiveness and then healing, was made to look like a liar and a Jezebel. We can bet anything on it that if it was like now, that depression is like a dime in a dozen, that lady out of shame and embarrassment and how she was received, could have taken her own life just as a way tk get prace. The castigation and threat were unbelievable then. Some who saw something in what the lady had raised out of the whole hoopla were rather shocked, but they thought that in time, let’s see.
Now again that sort of issue has reared its head again and it’s the same man that’s again in the eye of the storm. He has now been accused of the rape of a 17year old! This time the lady that allegedly RAPED is the wife of music sensation Timi Dakolo, when she was still a 17 year old!!!! That’s a crime! In the first case, the lady involved didn’t absolve herself at all. She agreed that she was a willing partner, but also alleged that she was tricked or maneuvered into the relationship. But in this new case, that happened several years back, she is has alledged rape!!!! Rape is having the carnal knowledge of another without their express permission. Rape is forcing one way through without consent. Rape denotes FORCE! Even a wife could be raped just as long as she didn’t give a go ahead.
How does one deal with the case of a supposed respected man of (God), a leader of a congregation, supposed father of multitudes being accused of rape, a sexual crime? How can a man put himself in such a situation that he could be so accused? How is the church taking this new accusation? What are they doing about it? Would it be swept under the carpet again as the ranting of another mad person??? Why only Pastor Biodun? This is not a case of tithe or sowing and reaping as it concerns giving. This is about rape allegations.
Has the Pastor come out to vehemently deny such preposterous accusation? As he in other to clear his name, instituted a case against his accusers/traducers? This is a very gross accusation that must not be taken with kids glove either way. To be quiet now is to have accepted something one way or the other. This is the kind of allegation or accusation that can bring down a church! In saner climes, if this were in America or the UK and maybe other more civilized parts of the world, it would have become a major case and the law would have had its full impact and the truth would have come out eventually.
If the accusation or allegation is true, why sweep it under the carpet? Or has rape now become accepted as a normal sexual practice in our law???? If its a lie from the pits of hell, then Pastor Biodun, his wife and his church or friends and family, then should also allow the full weight of the law to take its full course, as his name has been maligned, his reputation dragged in the mud, everything he stands for and holds dear has been impugned upon by this gross allegations then.
The true church of God is under the klieglight right now. The searchlight is beaming on the so called place that’s supposed to be rock to protect the weak. Would the pastor get away with this if the accusation is true or would his accusers get away with the allegations if its a lie?
Church of God over to you!!!! Your actions and inaction at such a pivotal period like this matters a whole lot. Many fates would be determined by the side they would pick or have picked in this case. Is it the side of truth against all odds and intimidation or is it the side of outright lies, intimidation and blackmail? No one should come blow some hot nonsense about David’s acts and God’s forgiveness here ooooo. David at the end of the day was a contrite soul. God doesn’t condone nonsense there’s the price to pay for every act.
Read the full transcript of Mrs. Dakolo’s confession below –
ON MEETING BIODUN FATOYINBO FOR THE FIRST TIME
Busola Dakolo was born and lived most of her early life in Ilorin. The first time she left Ilorin was for secondary school at Suleja and that time away allowed her really find her Christianity. She joined and rose to become the vice-president of the Gifted School Academy Suleja’s fellowship and embraced a conservative approach to Christianity, growing to become distrustful of churches and fellowships that tried to copy worldly trends as a way to reach people outside the church. She returned home for the holidays to find that her sisters had started attending a non-denominational ‘youth club’ that embraced all kinds of people and focused on worship and fellowship over doctrine and legalism. It took a while but her sisters convinced her to go by telling her she needed to meet different kinds of people, especially former prostitutes and cultists that have given their lives to Christ.
Busola reluctantly joined her sisters for the youth club, but she wasn’t comfortable there, partly because of the way they worshipped and because I was the youngest person there. After the service, there was a first timers call, and Busola stood up and introduced herself, explaining her initial skepticism and how their worship had changed her mind. After the service, the pastor of the club, a much younger Biodun Fatoyinbo came looking for her after the service.
Pastor Biodun wasn’t yet married (though he was engaged to his current wife) and the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) wasn’t yet a church, it was called Divine Delight Club.
He expressed his surprise at how bold she was for someone so young and encouraged her to keep speaking up for herself. He also managed to convince her to sing at their next meeting before she left back for school. To sell this idea, he offered to personally rehearse with her, mentioning that he played the keyboard. This was before mobile phones and internet, so Busola’s sister had to take her to Fatoyinbo, who was living with his parents at the time.
Though Busola remembers the song they rehearsed, their rehearsal was uneventful, and at the next meeting she performed, her performance moving enough that a former cultist who was attending the club public renounced his past and embraced Christianity. After, the members of the club affirmed her and Fatoyinbo convinced her through gifts of books and cassette tapes to keep attending their club when she was back home from school.
Returning to school and the more conservative worship environment she was used to was harder than she had anticipated. For the rest of her secondary school year, she struggled with guilt, shuffling between her role in the conservative Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS) and the more liberal world of Fatoyinbo’s COZA. She felt she was living a dual life. Eventually she graduated and returned home to find that Divine Delight Club had grown into a church headed by Fatoyinbo, and her sisters had convinced her family to join the church. It felt like the only option she had to join as well.
A YEARNING FOR UNDERSTANDING LEADS TO RAPE
More after the break.
Busola had embraced conservatism because she’d grown up in a polygamous family and she wanted some control over her own life in service of something bigger than herself. Her father was largely absent in her life and her mother had tried to shield them from the financial difficulty that came with parenting her and her sisters alone but she saw and it affected her deeply. Conservative Christianity gave her purpose and the structure she desperately craved. She joined the choir at COZA as a way to integrate into the church and rid herself of the discomfort she felt towards the church. Being in the choir made her visible and eventually Fatoyinbo would take an interest in her, inviting himself to her home under the guise of getting to know her better.
The first time he visited, he asked if she’d join him on an errand run. Her mother was concerned but didn’t really push when Busola insisted that she wanted to go. They drove in his white Mercedes Benz and finally spoke for the first time. Though she was normally guarded around men, Fatoyinbo was charming, using his knowledge of her family and the absence of her father to gain her trust. Before long, he was visiting the house regularly, engaging her in ways her unavoidably distant sisters weren’t.
Fatoyinbo showed up at her house unannounced. It was a Monday morning early enough that Busola Dakolo was still in her nightgown. Her mother had traveled with her sisters and were absent at service the previous sunday. He didn’t say a word, forcing her onto a chair, speaking only to command her to do as he said. It took Busola a while to come to terms with what was about to happen, and it was why she didn’t struggle or make a fuss when he pulled down her underwear and raped her. She remembers he didn’t say anything after, left to his car, returned with a bottle of Krest and forced her to drink it, probably as some crude contraceptive. She remembers him saying.
“You should be happy that a man of God did this to you.”
At this time, his wife had just given birth to their first child, Oluwashindara.
AFFLICTION STRIKES A SECOND Time.
Busola spoke up because her husband, the singer Timi Dakolo put up a social media post on Instagram accusing Nigerian clergy of condoning rape and sexual assault. People had approached him anonymously about Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo targeting underage girls for sexual relationships and he felt obligated to publicly speak up on their behalf. His posts had created intense backlash and support and sparked rumours about who the subject of his post was and who the victims were. This wasn’t the first time Timi Dakolo had spoken up about sexual assault and he was aware of what had happened to her from the beginning of their relationship.
What motivated her to speak up about her rape was a social media post from an anonymous account that had insinuated that she had been promiscuous as a teenager and had affairs with pastors when she lived in Ilorin and questioned the paternity of her children.
The reality was, rather than the fabricated promiscuous teenager, Busola Dakolo was an isolated girl, terrified of Fatoyinbo whose salvation story heavily featured his past as a cult member. She was too terrified to tell her sisters or mother about his violence, stewing in silence for a week. Her sisters were active in the church, and to avoid suspicion she followed them to church the next Sunday. She remembers he spoke about grace during the service and after, Modele Fatoyinbo asks that she come to help her with her new baby, something she had never done before. It was normal for church members to come serve at the pastor’s house so her sisters allayed her protests.
Feeling she had no options, she went to her pastor’s house, Fatoyinbo tried to isolate her later that night from his wife and their daughter by insisting she slept in the family’s guest room. She managed to thwart his plans, appealing to the pastor’s wife to let her sleep in their master bedroom.
“No one ignores me.”
He would tell her this the next morning, smacking her butt. It was an ominous enough statement that Busola became apprehensive and tried to leave for her house once it was past twilight. It was the first of many threats she would get from the flamboyant pastor. Fatoyinbo would insist on dropping her off at home, even though she protested several times. Instead of dropping her off at the junction as he had promised, he detoured, driving her away from safety and towards a secluded spot. He threatened her the entire drive, making proclamations about how he owned her and how he was angry that he had thwarted her the night before. He opened the car, pulled her out of the passenger seat and raped her a second time in the space of a week. First behind the car, then moving her to the bonnet for ease of access.
She didn’t fight, she had lost all her will to. She’d protected her virginity for so long that having it forcefully taken this way broke her. He guided back into the car when he was done, and told her he loved her, speaking of how he’d told his pastors that men of God raped women, that there was nothing special about what he did. He dropped her off outside her home as though everything was normal. She bathed immediately after and didn’t leave her room for three days, but while her siblings were worried about her, no one made any connections between her sudden mood and her married pastor. Busola’s family was a ‘church family’, a family so involved in church activities that their home was routinely used as a hostel for visiting ministers and guests of the church. Fatoyinbo had exploited that, and did it again when he showed up the next Sunday, to ask why she hadn’t gone to church that Sunday. She was afraid of drawing attention to herself, so she went to church the next Sunday, and kept going, even though she left the choir and began to voice her dissent towards Fatoyinbo.
THE BEGINNING OF RELIEF
A dream was the catalyst for Busola opening up for the first time about Fatoyinbo raping her. Her elder sister had relocated to Lagos, and she pleaded to visit, drained from avoiding the pastor. In Lagos, her sister who she believes has the Sight, told her about a dream she had had, where she’d seen Busola crying, blood on a chair and Fatoyinbo smiling. She asked her pointedly, breaking months of silence and starting a flood of admissions about the rape and everything that had happened. Her sister convinced her to return to Ilorin and together they told her other sisters and her brother, who was studying at the University of Ilorin. Her brother flew into a rage, grabbing a pocket knife and taking her to Fatoyinbo’s house. He was able to intercept them before they reached his house, and together with Wole Soetan, who she suggests is now the pastor of the COZA Portharcourt branch, convince them to return home and that Fatoyinbo would follow.
The pastor and two of his church members would eventually come to pacify her family, blaming the devil and Soetan even promising to leave the church to show how little tolerance he had for promiscuity. After Soetan would confide in Busola that he couldn’t leave the church because he felt Fatoyinbo was ‘weak’ and needed spiritual guidance and support. He convinced her siblings to keep the rape and assault from her mother. Numb to all emotion, Busola pretended to concede and after two weeks of constant visitation from the pastors and the unspoken implication that Fatoyinbo was an alleged reformed cultist with a lot to lose if news of her rape went public, she returned to the church to protect her family and project normalcy. It was clear to her at this point that she would never feel comfortable within organized religion.
Fatoyinbo continued to target Busola in the intervening months, organizing prayer sessions and specialized deliverance sessions with guest pastors to help ‘repair’ her ‘bondage’ and suggesting to her that the violence he had meted towards her was a problem they both had in common and needed communal deliverance, Busola would find out that Fatoyinbo had been telling church members that she wasn’t ready for a relationship when the pastor’s cousin befriended her. Their time would eventually develop into a relationship and she would confide in him about what had happened to her.
With his help, she would leave the church and join another congregation.