The Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) has defended its Biodun Fatoyinbo, its founding Senior Pastor, of the allegations levelled against him by Busola Dakolo, celebrity photographer and wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo, saying they were prompted by envy and jealousy.
The church made its position known in a statement issued by Ademola Adetuberu, the Executive Senior Assistant to the Senior Pastor of COZA, on Saturday.
Dakolo alleged that Fatoyinbo raped her twice while she was 17 years old and filed a lawsuit against the pastor at the Federal High Court, Abuja, demanding a public compensation.
In its first official response since the allegations were made public, COZA said the accusations was an attack against what it described as a bubbling Christian ministry.
The statement read: “We see this ugly development fuelled by envy and sheer jealousy as an unnecessary distraction and a fight from the pit of hell against the ministry that God gave Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo, as well as a declaration of war against the Church of Christ to which COZA is a flourishing branch under God’s grace.”
The church also alleged that the allegations, which it described as “organised blackmail”, against Fatoyinbo were purportedly supported by other Christian clerics, who are envious its growth since its establishment.
It, however, stated that it does not condone rape in any manner and stands in solidarity with genuine rape victims, as well as falsely accused persons such as Fatoyinbo.
“We stand with anyone who has been a victim of rape. We stand by our founding and Senior Pastor, Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo, who has been at the receiving end of organized blackmail and all sorts of attacks because of his innocence and we are sure that our faithful and unfailing God will vindicate him very soon.
“We are not unaware that certain pastors that felt threatened by the unprecedented growth of COZA and the grace of God upon His servant are after some of our members,” the statement read.
The statement said Fatoyinbo’s accuser, Busola, would soon face justice, insisting that the cleric had no intimate relationship with her.
The statement read: “As for Busola Dakolo, justice will soon be served. Busola was not raped by Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo and she had never been in a relationship with him either.”
Fatoyinbo has, meanwhile, responded to the lawsuit, filing a counter-suit and demanding N50 million as damages from Dakolo.