Many months ago, Busola Dakolo came forward in a video interview and accused Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the COZA church of rape.
She alleged that the case had happened when she was much younger, in 2002. Her statement caused furor among several Nigerians, but the pastor denied the case as well as all others that came forward.
Busola later went the legal route and filed a formal case against Biodun Fatoyinbo. Following several deliberations, he was suspended from the pulpit at COZA (he has resumed now) and his fellow pastors spoke out against him.
Biodun Fatoyinbo’s team of lawyers, led by Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), argued that the demands in the suit were ungrantable by the court and further alleged that the suit was frivolous and an abuse of court process.
Justice Oathman A. Musa, while giving judgment on the case, said that the matter amounts to injustice and an abuse of judicial process. He added that the case is empty and purely sentimental. Justice Musa said that the case was aimed more at cruelty than obtaining justice.
The court also awarded costs of N1,000,000 against Busola Dakolo and held that he should have fined her ten times more because the court’s time was wasted.
Busola, who is married to Timi Dakolo, has said that she will appeal the judgment, Punch News is reporting.
Her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said this in a statement sent to PUNCH in Abuja in reaction to the court verdict.
He said, “We have received several calls after the ruling of the high court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Bwari this morning seeking our view on the decision of the court, hence, this statement.
“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.
“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.
“Biodun Fatoyinbo through his lawyers have only argued that the court should not allow the matter to proceed to trial because it is an event that occurred long ago and hence out of time.
“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.”
Following this news, people have taken to social media to express their anger and disappointment over the decision, with Fatoyinbo and Busola Dakolo trending at numbers one and two respectively on Twitter.
See some reactions below:
You think the police is the problem, then it gets to court and you realise that the entire system is rigged against you, that it's not just the police — it's the court, the supposed justice system, the society that blames and silences victims. Just one circular conundrum. Tueh. https://t.co/ediLokyTSJ
— here comes the sun (@opeeee_) November 14, 2019
Am I surprised the court threw out Busola’s case? I am not. But I am tired and disappointed Cos we are so behind as a country. It’s sad
— period partner (@duchesskk) November 14, 2019
Busola Dakolo, i am so sorry.
sorry that the church failed you, sorry that the system failed you, sorry that you are being punished for speaking your truth.
i am sorry.
— JJ (@juiciestofjays) November 14, 2019
Today in Nigeria, Busola has been ordered to pay her abuser, Biodun Fatoyinbo N1million.
— Ayomide (@Samiee__) November 14, 2019