Just a few weeks ago, Nigerian singer, Timi Dakolo took to his Instagram handle to call out popular Abuja based pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo, who is the founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) over his alleged sexual relationship with female church members.
COZA overnight became the topic of discussion on major social media platforms. Many questions were asked, many accusations were made, but we didn’t hear anything from the man of God.
A few weeks later, the storm seemed to have calmed down as seems to be the COZA way of treating scandal;ignore it long enough and it will go away. Until, that is, COZA started trending again, still for the wrong reasons.
Busola, wife of Timi Dakolo, made some explosive claims about the COZA pastor; accusing him of raping her when she was still a teenager at age 17. In an interview with Y-TV, she narrated how pastor Biodun allegedly raped her in the morning hours in her home.
This time, the man of God has responded; denying the claims, and even threatening legal action against his accusers.
Whether these accusations are true or not, we can’t tell. But COZA has been trending for the wrong reasons, twice in the space of a month. Why only COZA?
This surely isn’t the kind of news devoted members of COZA will want to hear about their church or pastor. But it is what it is.
Back in 2013, the ‘Gucci Pastor’ as he is popularly called because of his flamboyant lifestyle, was also entangled in an allegation of infidelity with Ese Walter, a former member of the church, who admitted (later) that her romance with Fatoyinbo was consensual, but added she felt “abused and manipulated” by him and the passive manner in which the church’s leadership handled the issue after she complained.
Okay, this isn’t the only ‘man of God’ in Nigeria who will be accused of such misconduct. Early last year, one Stephanie Otobo accused apostle Johnson Suleiman of Omega Fire Ministry of having a sexual affair with her. She later recanted the allegations, claiming she had been paid to do make the allegations. Doubts still surround the Suleiman story as sherecanted it in his church, prompting some to claim that she was coerced into the retraction. Before then, however, the man of God came out to clear his name, claiming his innocence.
Pastor Fatoyinbo has also done the same. But has he kept quiet for too long?
For a long time, the COZA name kept getting tainted without a word from the church about the issue. And surely, a lot of damage has already been done.
When you think of a church, rape or sexual harassment definitely shouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind. But with the way COZA has been trending, this is fast becoming their reality.
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