By Bukola Olasanmi
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, sitting in Bwari, has dismissed the case filed by Busola Dakolo, against the Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo, alleging rape.
The court in its judgement also exonerated Pastor Fatoyinbo, saying that the case of the plaintiff is purely sentimental and empty.
Also, the court dismissed the suit and awarded cost of N1,000,000 against Busola Dakolo.
About five months ago, Busola accused Pastor Fatoyinbo of raping her while she was a teenager. She approached the to demand for justice and compensation.
Precisely, Busola Dakolo accused Pastor Fatoyibi of raping her in the year 2002.
On his part, the COZA Senior Pastor filed an objection to the suit and supported it with an affidavit, saying that Busola’s statements were false and concocted to embarrass, scandalise and ridicule him.
He said in the affidavit that from the inception she sought the attention of the media and press, and brought the civil action even while the Police investigation was ongoing.
Accorsing to him, her false claim were stale and an abuse of judicial process.
After parties argued their briefs, Justice Othman Musa held that the matter amounts to injustice, and an abuse of judicial process.
He further held that the case is purely sentimental, empty.
Justice Musa awarded costs of N1,000,000 against Busola Dakolo and held that it would have been 10 times more but resisted it because, according to him, there are women with legitimate claims who may approach the court for justice.
According tobthe court, the case the case carries more of cruelty in it than justice.
Before the judgement was delivered,
Fatoyinbo had has described the suit as frivolous and statute barred.
Fatoyinbo, through his lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, in a preliminary objection dated 20th September, 2019, said the reliefs sought by Busola in the suit are not grantable, which makes the suit incompetent.
According to the objection filed at a high court of the federal capital territory, Dr. Izinyon said the court
lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit adding that the suit is frivolous and a palpable abuse of court process
In an affidavit deposed to, by
Ademola Adetuberu, Executive Senior Assitant to Pastor Fatoyinbo, he said the substratum of the claimant’s suit is the mere purported allegation of emotional and psychological distress as a result of the said purported mere allegation of rape against the Defendant.
He further said in the affidavit that the said purported mere allegation of rape is still a subject of investigation by the Police.
To the defendant in the main suit, the reliefs sought in this instant suit are not grantable and incompetent.
He said in the affidavit, ”That a suit of this nature is statute barred after a period of three years. The reliefs claimed by the Claimant in the suit clearly fall within the limitation law”.
Busola had last month approached the court to seek redress in the allegation made against pastor Fatoyinbo.
In the substantive matter, Mrs Dakolo, through her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi & Co., is seeking the order of the court to compel Mr Fatoyinbo to publish a clearly worded apology to Busola on the front page of at least two (2) National Newspapers and two National Televisions for seven days running consecutively.
Busola Dakolo had two months ago made a shocking revelation in a detailed interview with Chude Jideonwo, a lawyer and journalist, of how the Abuja-based cleric allegedly raped her as a teenager.
She claimed that Mr Fatoyinbo had sexual intercourse with her on September 23 and September 26, 2002, caused her continuous emotional distress and amount to intentional infliction of emotional distress.