An Abuja high court has dismissed the rape case against Biodun Fatoyinbo, senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), describing it as “purely sentimental abuse of judicial process.”
The court imposed a fine of N1 million on Busola Dakolo, Nigerian celebrity photographer for wasting the time of the court with such frivolity.
Busola, wife to Timi Dakolo, Nigerian gospel singer, had alleged that the clergyman forcefully had carnal knowledge of her on two occasions while she was a teenager.
In the suit, filed on behalf of Busola by Pelumi Olajengbesi, her lawyer, Busola alleged that the action of the pastor, as well as his denial in statements made thereafter, caused her “continuous emotional distress” that affected her marital sex life.
“The claimant avers that she was immediately terrified and in shock while the defendant pinned her down on the couch following which he caressed her body, fondled her breasts, pulled her pants, quickly half-pulled his trousers and ordered her to allow him to have his way with her,” Olajengbesi said.
“The claimant avers that the defendant in the process used his hand to cover her mouth, thereby muffling her screams. The claimant avers that the defendant made efforts to penetrate her vagina, whilst she struggled to fight him off; however, the defendant overpowered her and penetrated her vagina and had sexual intercourse with her.
“The claimant avers that while she was in shock of the incident which had rendered her befuddled and mortified, the defendant rushed out of the living room area of her family home and briefly returned with a bottle of soda (Krest) which he forced down her throat thereby making her breathing difficult.”
However, Justice Oathman Musa, who presided over the case, dismissed the case and ordered Busola to pay the sum of N1 million, which he said could have been more because she wasted the court’s time.
Reacting to the decision, Busola, through her lawyer, vowed to approach a superior court to intervene on the matter.
“The court ruled that the matter is statute-barred because the events that crystallised to the cause of action took place 16 years ago and that the claimant Mrs. Busola Dakolo has only six years within which to seek redress in court in line with the statute of limitation,” said the lawyer.
“We are mindful of the decision as delivered by the court, presided over by the Hon. Justice A.O Musa. We are equally observant of the fact that the Court omitted to address the cause of action, the subject matter of the suit in determining whether it has jurisdiction to entertain the said matter.
“While we acknowledge the time of the court, we know in accordance with the Nigerian judicial system that the Court’s decision is not final as it is glaringly contestable.
“For all intent and purposes, having seen several sponsored misleading news reports in the media, we are duty-bound to state that the court has not and did not exonerate Biodun Fatoyinbo. As it stands, the substance of the matter has not received any judicial attention.
“We shall therefore in this circumstance approach a superior court to intervene for a better appreciation, and take a more expansive view of the suit considering that the subject matter is one that is novel in our clime.”