Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo


Channels News reports that in the application filed through his lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, he demanded for the dismissal of the suit on the grounds that it is incompetent & frivolous, a sum of N50 million as damages and a clearly worded apology on the front page of at least two national newspapers and two national television stations for seven days running consecutively.

This is coming about two weeks after Busola Dakolo demanded that Fatoyinbo apologises for allegedly defiling her and the cost of action estimated at the sum of N10,000,000 (ten million naira) be paid.

See the court papers below:

Photo CreditChannels News



Credit: Bella Naija

In the alleged court document, Busola demanded an apology and also asked Fatoyinbo to pay N10 million legal fees for the case.

Taking to his Instagram page, Fatoyinbo denied receiving any court document and stated that if he does, he will respond accordingly.

He stated;

“We have heard the latest report. We have not received any court document and if we do, we would respond accordingly because we have utmost respect for the law.”

In addition, Fatoyinbo captioned the statement;

“I normally would not respond to news. But will do so only this time. Allow me to respond in Pidgin English: ‘Stop lying up an dan.”



Credit: Bella Naija

Detectives from the Force Criminal Investigation Department(FCID), Abuja, investigating the alleged rape against pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo on Wednesday, August 28 conducted a search on the residence and office of the embattled pastor in Abuja.

According to a report by Daily Sun, the police also seized the passport of Fatoyinbo, as part of the bail conditions granted to the pastor. Fatoyinbo was also made to provide two level 16 officers with landed property in Abuja, before he was allowed to be taken on bail.

He was however told to be reporting to the FCID on a daily basis until investigation is concluded. The COZA pastor who attended another round of interrogation Wednesday, has since been released to go home. A source told Daily Sun that part of the investigation that took place on Wednesday was a search on the home of the pastor and his office by detectives.

According to source,  “the home of the pastor and his office were searched today by detectives investigating the matter, but I cannot tell you what they found, but defiantly they were looking for  incriminating documents and other evidences that was revealed by witnesses during the discreet investigation conducted in the matter.

“Also part of the bail conditions given to pastor Fatoyinbo is that he provides two level 16 officers who have landed property in Abuja, and that his international passport to be deposited with the police which he has done”.


Source: LIB

Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo has revealed that he refused to appear before an investigative panel of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) because of a lack of trust in the process.

Busola Dakolo, a photographer, alleged during a taped interview in June that Fatoyinbo, the founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), raped her twice when she was a teenager .

Another former member of his church alleged in July that the pastor raped her during a meeting between the two in 2017.

The PFN, of which COZA is a member, announced on Thursday, August 22, 2019 that the pastor failed to honour invitations extended to him by its “high-powered fact-finding” investigation team.

Among other reasons, Fatoyinbo said he didn’t honour the panel’s investigation because he and his lawyers feared it might be prejudiced against him.

In a statement signed by his senior assistant, Ademola Adetuberu, on Friday, August 23, he said he got legal advice to not make his case before the panel.

He said, “We recall that when Pastor Fatoyinbo was invited by a phone call few days ago by Pastor Akinola Akinwale, who is the National Administrative Secretary of PFN, we explained that our Pastor would not honour the invitation due to legal advice hinged on the ongoing police investigation.

“The legal advice was also premised on the press statement issued and personally signed by the PFN President, Bishop Felix Omobude, where our Pastor was publicly disowned.

“Based on the foregoing, we are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the PFN was already prejudiced and may not conduct an impartial session.

“According to the report, Rev. Omobude, whom we hold in high esteem, went further to crucify our Pastor without seeking to know his side of the story on the matter.

“With all due respect, we consider this a prejudicial position in dispensing justice and fairness.” 

Adetuberu denied that Fatoyinbo ever got written invitations as claimed by PFN but that there’s still a chance he could honour the panel’s invitation at a later date.

“Once the police investigation is over, our Pastor is ready to honour the invitation. 

“We have also been legally advised to deploy judicial intervention to clear our Pastor as soon as possible, and the process has commenced in earnest,” he said.

PFN said on Thursday that Busola and her celebrity husband, Timi Dakolo, appeared before the panel.

However, Isong said Fatoyinbo’s failure to appear means the probe has not reached a definite conclusion.

“We may make a further statement on a later date. But certainly, for now, Nigerians and well-meaning people are our witnesses that we have fulfilled scriptural, public and moral expectations as a reasonable and legal organisation,” he said.

Isong also disclosed that Fatoyinbo had reached out to PFN for help when the allegations were first made public and that he expressed disappointment when he wasn’t offered a public show of support.

Fatoyinbo directly dismissed Dakolo’s allegation as false and stepped down from the pulpit until very recently when he returned to the pulpit.

Dakolo filed a petition against Fatoyinbo with the Police in June, but the pastor has also filed complaints of criminal conspiracy and falsehood against her with the authorities.



News source: Pulse News


Timi released a public statement thereafter. See the highlights below:

  1. Busola filed a petition on June 27th, 2018, one day prior to the release of the interview, accusing Fatoyinbo of raping her as a minor. The Petition was filed at the Office of the Assistant General of Police, Alagbon, Ikoyi.
  2. Him and his wife have been to the office on several occasions after that, on invitation by the police, to answer questions as part of investigations.
  3. Timi said: “As far as we know, Mr Fatoyinbo has not been questioned on the strength of my wife’s petition – even after several invitations by the Police that we have honoured.”
  4. After Kemi Olunloyo shared their address online, Timi said, “I  want Nigerians, the Armed Forces, Amnesty International and the good men and women of the Nigeria Police Force to know that SINCE THEN people have been following myself and wife in tinted unmarked cars, TO OUR HOME! AT different times, in the last week we have been trailed.”
  5. On yesterday’s incident. Timi said he noticed a tinted bus parked in front of his house, adding that at the same time, his wife was being followed by a car whose occupants he said signalled the bus and armed officers attached to SARS stopped her car and asked her to step down. He said she refused and called her lawyer, and then the officers stepped back and  said they came to hand over a letter of invitation from the police which they did. The invitation letter was based on a petition by Fatoyinbo. It said they police is investigating “Criminal Conspiracy, Falsehood, Mischief and Threat to Life”. However, Falsehood and Mischief are not offences in Nigerian law.
  6. Falana & Falana Chambers are Timi & Busola’s legal representatives and they have told the family that their petition and Fatoyinbo’s will be moved to Lagos.

Timi also responded to questions, debunking rumours that he said he married his wife as virgin, adding that he had to share a video from his wedding after rumours saying he got married at COZA.


S.T.E.R Initiative


Timi Dakolo answering questions to clear some rumours that had been going about his supposed relationships or activities with COZA church.

Embedded video

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See the full press statement below:


Sunday, July 21st

Gentlemen of the Press –

My wife and I have called this press conference because, as a man, I have done what I am supposed to do – I stood by my wife when she decided to go public with her truth. It was not an easy decision but I was raised by my Grandmother – I saw that woman go to heaven and back for me – she used to trek kilometres to go to church to pray for me and sold everything to make sure we ate. From loving my Grandmother, I have a deep respect for women; I took the decision boldly as a man should. I stood for her when she came under attacks from the ill-intentioned members of society. I have fought for her even when I have been abused, lied against and accused of unspeakable things.

As a Father however, I could not have foreseen the events of yesterday when an attempt was made to abduct myself and my wife – FOR TELLING HER TRUTH.

All we have asked is for this matter to be duly investigated. I did not expect that our residential address – where our children live – will be released to the public AND SINCE THEN, I have noted with increasing alarm, how my life, my wife’s life and the lives of our children have been put at risk by unscrupulous persons. We have been followed, our home has been watched, people have been standing in corners pointing fingers at our home – we have been unable to do any work; the children have had to be explained to several times why they cannot go outside and play.

As a Father and as the protector of my home under God, I have decided to come out and speak publicly against the harassment, bullying and maliciousness we have received as law abiding citizens of Nigeria – BECAUSE my wife decided to tell her truth and I decided that I trust her, I believe her and stand by her. I will never leave her side now and I will do my best to protect her. However, the good people of Nigeria, who have shown us so much love, deserve to know what has been happening.

On behalf of my family, I would like to share a few highlights, especially about the attempted abduction of yesterday, Saturday, July 20th, 2019:


  1. On Thursday, June 27th, my wife, through her Legal Representative filed a petition with the police in Lagos State about Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) raping her as a minor. The Petition was filed at the Office of the Assistant General of Police, Alagbon, Ikoyi. We had 4 meetings spanning over 6 hours at the Police Station on that day and afterwards, the A.I.G himself personally assigned the file immediately and asked for an expedited action to investigate the case. We decided not to publicise the fact that a case had been filed, as we believed that the law should be allowed to run its full course, undisturbed.
  2. We intentionally filed the police case, following the due process of the law before agreeing for the release of the interview that had been recorded many weeks before. The interview was then released with my wife’s permission, on Friday, June 28th, 2019 by Y!TV.

a. We have since been to the Police Station in Lagos several times on invite by the Police to respond to various questions in the course of their investigations. WE WERE THEREFORE SHOCKED TO BE INVITED TO ABUJA – WHEN NO VISIBLE ACTION HAD BEEN TAKEN TO INTERVIEW MR. FATOYINBO.

b. On Thursday, July 4th, Y!TV published another video with a former employee of COZA alleging that Pastor Biodun also raped her. My wife broke down crying as she listened to her interview “There are other women – this recent?!” she kept saying as she cried. What surprised us was how Modele Fatoyinbo, who asked my wife to come and help her look after their newborn child – which is what led to the second rape – is the same person that asked this lady to come and look after her children – again? 15 years after?! It is strange. We do not know this lady, we have still not met her, but we would like to thank her for lending her voice to this truth.

c. As far as we know, Mr Fatoyinbo has not been questioned on the strength of my wife’s petition – even after several invitations by the Police that we have honoured. However, we have been invited to go to Abuja to respond to queries on actions that are not crimes known under any Nigerian law – “mischief” and “falsehood” are not crimes; we were not given details of the supposed case, THERE WAS NO ADDRESS FOR THE POLICE INTERVIEW and NO RESPONSE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US ON OUR OWN PETITION THAT HAS BEEN FILED ALMOST A MONTH AGO.

d. On Wednesday, July 10th, our address was shared onlineby Kemi Olunloyo in the most careless, reckless and wicked manner. To think she is supposed to be a woman and a mother and had no regard for the safe keep of our children and she has infringed on our Fundamental Human Rights to Personal Dignity and Privacy and is risking the lives of my 3 little children! This was callous! I decided not to engage with her, but I want Nigerians, the Armed Forces, Amnesty International and the good men and women of the Nigeria Police Force to know that SINCE THEN people have been following myself and wife in tinted unmarked cars, TO OUR HOME! AT different times, in the last week we have been trailed. The last event is what happened again yesterday and this time an attempt was made to abduct my wife and I. I had to park our cars and stay indoors. My wife and I have been unable to work and my children have been unable to go out freely even in this holiday period.


  1. Yesterday, Saturday July 20th, 2019 in the early afternoon, I had notice a tinted bus parked near our home. I did not know that at the same time, my wife was being followed by a car into the estate.
  2. She noticed the car and out of fear, parked the car to be sure that her fear was not real – but it was. Every time she parked, the car parked and she decided that she should rush home quickly, since she was near the house.
  3. When she got onto the street, she noticed the same bus I had seen earlier and saw that someone from the car that was following her signalled to the bus, at which point 3 ARMED POLICEMEN wearing SARS vests surrounded her car, demanding for her to come down. The door of the bus was open and she saw that the bus was full of armed policemen.
  4. She immediately called her lawyer and when the policemen heard that she was talking to a legal representative, they stepped back and claimed that they were only there to drop a letter; they had not said this before nor shown her the letter.
  5. Before then, they were demanding that I step outside the house. They had also demanded that my wife step out of the car.

a. The letters the Policemen said they had when they heard us speaking to the lawyer were then presented. We noted that the letters are dated Thursday, July 18th. Why were they being delivered on a Saturday afternoon by a bus full of armed policemen and a car trailing my wife into the estate? Why did they not deliver the letter and leave when neither myself nor my wife were present? And why did they only step back when they became aware that lawyers were involved? These questions have been on my mind. I do not have answers for them.

b. The letters made no reference to any case or matter and it states that we are being investigated for a case of falsehood and mischief – two offences that are not known in law.

c. In the police’s press release yesterday, they claim a Police Invitation Letter is “… a polite investigative tool used in eliciting information voluntarily from parties to aid in police investigation.” If they were just delivering a letter, the manner in which they intentionally tried to instill fear, intimidate us with guns and insist on our coming to their bus – was neither polite nor trustworthy.

d. How is the Nigeria Police pursuing justice when Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, who is the accused in my wife’s matter, is not being treated in this manner but the authorities I expect to pursue justice are attempting to intimidate myself and my wife?

e. My children were at home!!!! They could also have been in their mother’s car!!!

f. We have never threatened anyone on our lives. Rather, we are now the ones who feel threatened. That is why we have Falana & Falana Chambers representing us and they have reported this matter to the police.

g. We receive the information from our lawyers, Falana & Falana Chambers, this morning that both our petition and the petition of Mr Biodun Fatoyinbo will be moved to Lagos. We acknowledge the effort of the Nigeria Police to ensure that our confidence in their impartiality, professionalism & good sense in this case is not shaken.


  1. We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support we continue to receive from Nigerians at home and abroad. We acknowledge the online support of the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari.
  2. We will not be intimidated. We are determined to get justice and ensure the church is a safe space for boys and girls.
  3. If they can intimidate my wife and I who have some level of public goodwill, what will happen to Amaka in Maitama who knows no one and has no one to speak for her?



Credit: Bella Naija


Speaking on the issue, Chude, who interviewed Busola, said other survivors have stepped out to share their sexual abuse stories allegedly involving Fatoyinbo.

“The team has met and listened to five survivors who have shared their sexual assault experiences with Fatoyinbo. We are not releasing the interviews because the survivors only did these interviews because they wanted to help. So this is really about seeking justice and healing for the survivors,” Chude said.

Chude also revealed that Busola had made a formal police report before the viral interview was published and that submission contains all the details of their encounter.

Watch interview below



Credit: Bella Naija

The first time a woman is taught to be silent, she is told to be ashamed of her body, to be guilty of it. And she obeys. But when she can’t bear the injustices on her body and spirit, she spits out silence from her throat, speaks out fiercely, courageously.


In the past few weeks, we’ve seen women on social media wriggle free from the stifling rules of the society, telling their stories. With this new culture of speaking out – the Bill Cosby case, the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein and its consequent spark of the #MeToo movement, and Busola Dakolo’s revelation, which made Chika Unigwe and TY Bello share their stories – women have been emboldened by the need for justice to call out sexual predators. However, while we expect the world to be happy and provide succour and support to these women, what we see is a whole new disheartening dimension of silencing women and their struggles.

Invalidated statistics flying on Facebook state that not less than 90% of women have experienced, at one point in their life, sexual abuse. The figure isn’t far-fetched in a world abounding with grabby men who feel entitled to a woman’s body; where sex is what a man takes from a woman (and sometimes takes it by fire, by force). It is not unsurprising – though it is saddening – to see people’s need to invalidate the stories of these women, subtly enabling their perpetrators.

Under the guise of standing on the side of truth and fairness, apologists search for holes in the stories, ask needless questions: ‘Why didn’t she scream?’ ‘Why did she go back to him?’ ‘How did the alleged rapist know she was home alone?’ These irritating questions, aimed at gaslighting victims into silence, are endless. And there is the excuse of these questions being necessary to ensure that the (supposed) victims aren’t concocting stories, framing innocent men.

While Aunty Chimamanda has taught us the danger of a single story, when it comes to issues like sexual abuse, it is best to believe the single story of the accuser (while waiting for the story of the accused, which most times never comes) because the accuser has more to lose. Say the victim is found guilty of concocting lies, the accused could sue for defamation of character, shame her, and pass an important message to people like her who may want to do such in the future. And this cannot be compared to the physical irrecoverable chunks of the woman that had been lost over time in a case where the accused is actually guilty.

But apologists fail to see this and go ahead to shut women up. The danger of re-enforcing the culture of silence by disbelieving the stories of women is that it will, in no distant time, metamorphose women into scary, savage beings. Not a metamorphosis per se, but an activation of a latent trait. Or isn’t it said that hell has no fury like a woman scorned?


The second time a woman is taught to be silent, she is told to doubt her story because the world doubts it. Then she says to herself that there is no use speaking out to a world that has chosen to be deaf and blind. So she seeks justice for and by herself, to cleanse herself of the predator.


Should there come a time when we see courtrooms with accused men standing in witness boxes, maimed, when we hear of deaths of accused men, then we will know that the monstrous feminine spirit has been awakened. The rise of a woman, not a cackling hen, but a quiet duck, returning her body to wholeness in the way she sees fit. The woman who no longer latches onto the need for validation, no longer cares about what the society believes or doubts. The woman who will serve ‘plausible’ stories; stories where her total focus is in protecting herself. And it doesn’t matter if her body has already suffered indignity, she will – like a mantis – wring out every pleasure from the body of her offender.

A few years back, we saw a glimpse of this awakening. There were cases upon cases of domestic violence: women with black eye, swollen lips, puffy cheeks and swaths where a weapon had bit into flesh; instead of the world consoling these women, the culture of questioning was used to dilute their stories. ‘Yes, the man was wrong in hitting her, but what did she say to provoke him?’ When the women couldn’t bear it any longer, we heard stories of wives stabbing husbands. A Facebook user called it a revolution. In her words, ‘There is no revolution without blood.’

And it seems we’ve quickly forgotten this. It won’t be out of place to say that women are simmering already; the fire, the anger needed for the activation is burning already. Ijeoma Chinonyeremwrote on Facebook, ‘If you have young girls, rather than enroll them in holiday lessons, take them to self defence lessons. Karate, taekwando, tai chi, jujitsu, krav maga, martial arts, etc. Let them learn how to defend themselves against the Bioduns and Elishas wey full Naija. More are coming o. Walai. Make e no be your pikin tomorrow. Make she at least give them mark.’

While the hilarity of the advice isn’t missed, its truth and seriousness aren’t missed also. In the closing paragraph of ‘The Resurgence of the Monstrous Feminine’ published on Granta, Hannah Williams reveals the plot of vengeance that plays in her heart: She thinks about what it would be like to stalk silently behind men, ‘My feet soft and easy on the pavement, quick flash of my shadow under the street lights, How I’d watch the whites of their eyes shine as they turned to look behind them – softly, quietly, can’t be too obvious – see the glisten of sweat on the back of their necks.’

Just like Ijeoma said, more of the predators are coming.

But the awakening of the monstrous feminine is imminent.

Now this isn’t a call for women to pick up arms. No, far from it. If anything, it is a warning – if the world keeps hushing women running to find refuge and justice under its pinions, the time may come when they will see the need to defend themselves in any way they see fit.

Is that what the world wants?

Credit: Gideon Chukwuemeka Ogbonna, Bella Naija

Six days after Busola Dakolo came out to share her harrowing story of rape by Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, another woman is accusing the clergy of the same thing.

The woman, who says she’s a former member and staff at the church, said Fatoyinbo, who she regarded as a mentor, spiritual leader, and father figure, allegedly raped her when he invited him to his house to discuss church issues.

She said that wasn’t the first time she was going to the house, adding that things moved on really fast and Fatoyinbo in no time was all over her.

She says she hopes that her story will build on the impact of Busola Dakolo’s and Ese Walter‘s stories.

In her story, she said Fatoyinbo addressed the Busola Dakolo incident, saying she had seduced him and “something had happened”.

Her Story

The woman said she joined the church in 2009, and in 2013, when the Ese Walter story broke, she immediately felt the weight of its implications, but dismissed it as some smear campaign. She hadn’t been working closely with the pastor at the time and the church was a place of sanctuary for her.

She joined the music group and was there till 2015, when Fatoyinbo’s wife Modele took an interest in her, and she began working with her on church adminstration duties and even taking care of the Fatoyinbos’ son.

The woman said she had found out about how church members viewed their proximity to the pastor as something special and she did feel special.

She says women and girls who were granted access to the Fatoyinbos’ children were referred to as ‘choice daughters,’ as the pastor was known to guard access to their kids.

She said she took care of the kids from 2015 to 2016, and later on, she moved to another country, living in one of the cities where COZA had a branch.

While she was hired by Modele, her job also required that she worked with Fatoyinbo who visited regularly to minister to the congregation and spend time with his children who were schooling in the city.

The alleged rape took place when Fatoyinbo visited and invited her to the house to discuss church issues.

As he forced himself on her, she says, removing her shirt and unbuttoning her trousers, telling her to “relax”.

She adds that she was too shocked to react, trying to reconcile the person in front if her, with the person who she saw as a spiritual leader, father figure, and mentor.

After the rape, she said he switched back to the pastor she knew, going on to apologise for what happened, saying he didn’t mean to hurt her.

She said she stayed silent and couldn’t talk to church members about it, remembering how the church took the Ese Walters case.

She was happy Fatoyinbo lived in Nigeria, pastoring the church in Abuja, so the distance helped her reevaluate her life. She wanted to leave the church but it would be difficult, seeing the church was responsible for her livelihood. She began saving to come back to Nigeria and continue her life.

One day, a friend called her out of the blues saying Fatoyinbo was asking for her number. She couldn’t tell the friend why she refused to share her contact with the pastor, so she had to give it to the friend to share with him.

Fatoyinbo called her, she said, saying ‘I know you are angry with me.’ She said his apology rang of dishonesty and after the call ended, her other friends called to tell her about Busola’s husband, Timi Dakolo‘s May 2018 Instagram postaccusing an Abuja pastor of sexual assault.

She said she figured Fatoyinbo’s call was an attempt at damage control and if she had any doubts about him being a sexual abuser, that call cleared them.

The rape occurred in the last quarter of 2017, she said, but she continued working in the church till July the next year. She said she told Fatoyinbo of her plan to leave and he insisted that they both see each other before she does so.

She adds that by the time she returned to Nigeria, Timi Dakolo had made his second post, accusing Fatoyinbo of sexual assault, although not explicitly.

One month later, Busola shared her story, accusing Fatoyinbo of raping her twice when she was 16.

The woman said when she returned to Nigeria, Fatoyinbo insisted on them meeting, and he shared that Busola had seduced him and “something had happened.” He said he didn’t know she was a teenager, adding that he had no idea why she was trying to “sabotage” his ministry.

The woman said she doesn’t think Modele is unaware of her husband’s alleged assault, adding that she either intentionally or inadvertently brought young women closer to her, setting them up for exploitation by her husband.

She added that some pastors are aware of Fatoyinbo’s sexual violence but either kept quiet, or enabled it. She called them “The COZA 12,” saying they are pastors within and outside the church.


Credit: Bella Naija

I am not a member of this church, and sadly I only heard about them after the allegations against their founder started.

I woke up Friday morning to several posts, reposts and reactions (good and bad) on social media, all of them about Busola Dakolo’s four-part interview, during which she recounts the rape incidents (yes incidents, plural – it happened twice) she suffered from Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, the Senior Pastor of COZA Ministries, one of Nigeria’s mega protestant churches.

This issue of rape/sexual assault, especially on the heels of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, is met with mixed reactions whenever it comes up. It’s either the survivor is immediately believed and has a lot of people supporting him/her, or the allegations and stories are met with flat out disbelief, and then some people proceed to call the survivor all sorts of names. Victim blaming commences, and the survivor ends up being shamed into silence and regrets ever speaking up. Then there are those that are sort of on the fence about it, who first try to make sense of the story by asking as many questions as possible before they decide who and what to believe.

When I saw the interview itself, I wasn’t that surprised. I sort of saw it coming, because her husband, Timi Dakolo, had previously spoken out about the issue of rape/sexual abuse by pastors, and had called out this pastor specifically, several weeks ago. Busola herself had also put up a peculiar post on Instagram just yesterday that I took to mean something big was coming.

The issues surrounding sexual abuse and rape, its prevalence, lack of justice/punishment for the perpetrators, report time, consent, and the culture of silencing and shaming of victims are currently being addressed across all social media platforms, and are perhaps a topic for a different day. However, some of the reactions to Busola’s interview that I have seen are what have me riled up.

Not surprisingly, a lot of people cannot bring themselves to begin to process or fathom that a religious figure (pastor, priest, bishop, nun, etc.) could ever engage in such shameful, criminal (and sinful) behaviour. Crazy, right? But I understand it because:

1. Cognitive dissonance:  psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously (Merriam-Webster dictionary). This is usually for friends and family of the perpetrator, or those that hold them in high regard.
2. Some people have sadly undergone the same abuse, and are not ready to acknowledge what happened to them.
3. Some people have unfortunately tied the basis of their faith and spirituality to these religious figures, and so acknowledging or believing such allegations will shake their faith. This is what I want to address today.

We are all human beings. Men of God included. Yes, they might read/understand the Bible more than others. Yes, they are charismatic and know how to get a message across. Yes, they might be able to get spiritual revelations, or possess certain gifts of the Holy Spirit. But, at the end of the day, they are just men. In fact, if anything, they are in a better position to be the perpetrators of such sexual misconducts. Why? Because, among many reasons:

1. Rape is about power, and they possess tremendous power.
2. They believe they will get away with it, because for so long, they have.
3. Rape, sometimes, is a crime of opportunity, and between the adulation and undue attention they get from their followers, the opportunity will present itself somehow, and they will take advantage of it.

I am not a member of this church, and sadly I only heard about them after the allegations against their founder started. So, I sympathise with anyone whose world seems shaken by this. But, please, let us all remember that these people are only human beings like you and me. They are not God, they are only a mouth-piece, and no one is above sin or mistakes. Please, please, please, do not let your faith in God be shaken by this.

I am Catholic, proudly so. And yes, the Catholic Church has had its own share of sex scandals that spans centuries, especially involving the sexual abuse of younger boys by priests. I have also had my fair share of abuse and molestation from religious figures that occurred when I was much younger (sometimes in my own home), and I only recently opened up to my family and friends about it. And no one had no clue.

When we are able to see past their titles and positions, one thing is clear: sexual assault/rape can happen to anyone, by anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Hopefully, when we all come to this realization, we can better prevent, manage and tackle these issues so that they don’t keep happening, and so that the perpetrators don’t go unpunished.

I commend Busola for speaking her truth. It takes a special kind of courage and bravery to speak up about something like this, especially considering her status in the society, and being a mom of three not-so-young kids. I hope she is able to find healing and peace from this. Also, kudos to her husband, Timi, for standing by her and putting himself and his reputation out there for the greater cause.

I sincerely hope that as a country, we are able to finally hold powerful people accountable, and that this man is brought to justice. And if indeed there is a different side to this story (I highly doubt it – this is not the first allegation against him), then said pastor should come out and tell it.

Written by Lota O

Credit: Bella Naija