Is the guilty afraid?.. is the question on the lips of many as Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has declared inconclusive its probe into the rape allegation by celebrity photographer, Mrs Busola Dakolo, against the founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
The Christian body said the five-man investigative panel it set up sat for over a month with presentations and attendance by key stakeholders, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), church leaders and others.
Though mrs Dakolo and her husband, Timi, attended the sittings., the panel could not conclude its assignment because Fatoyinbo refused to show up, despite “several invitations and efforts”.
“The panel met for over one month and interfaced with parties involved in the matter. Unfortunately, all attempts to meet with Fatoyinbo failed, despite many efforts we made.”
Asked about the efforts the panel specifically made, Isong said Fatoyinbo was invited through letters, calls and proxies without any success.
He added: “Several efforts were made. Several calls were made, but he rebuffed us. He shunned the invitation of the panel to defend himself.”
The PFN national spokesman stressed that since the “accused” was absent, it would be impossible for the panel to conclude its investigation.
The Christian body hailed the Dakolos for showing up at the panel’s sittings.
“PFN appreciates the respect that Mrs. Dakolo and her husband accorded the panel by showing up and interacting with members,” Isong said.
He regretted that Fatoyinbo snubbed the panel, despite his call for the body to intervene in the matter in the heat of the accusation.
Mrs Dakolo accused Fatoyinbo of raping her 20 years ago when she was a 16 and attending the church with her family in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
The accusation attracted public outcry and protests in the Abuja headquarters and Lagos branch of the church.
The public outcry forced Fatoyinbo to step aside from the pulpit on July 1 to enable appropriate bodies investigate the matter. The COZA founder denied the allegation, saying he had never raped a woman in his life.
But he returned to the pulpit on August 5, sparking another round of public outcry.