…warns against treating rape victims as criminals
Popular musician, Timi Dakolo and his wife, Busola, yesterday raised the alarm over threat to their lives the rape allegations levelled against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).
The couple also condemned the way the police were handling case.
Timi, who addressed a press conference in Lagos, said he didn’t expect that his residential address would be released to the public.
The singer also called on Nigerians to stop treating rape victims like criminals for speaking the truth.
This came as former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, condemned the invitation letter served on Timi and Busola, by the police.
The action by the police came a month after the singer’s wife made allegations that Fatoyinbo raped her twice as a teenager in Ilorin about 20 years ago.
At the conference held at Ikeja, Timi wondered why the police stormed his home to invite him and his wife to Abuja from Lagos State, while the police had allegedly refused to invite Fatoyinbo, who allegedly raped his wife 20 years ago.
He added that last month, he and his wife wrote a petition to the police, and they were questioned for six hours by the police. Timi said he didn’t understand why police were inviting them for another round of questioning.
He said: “On June 27, my wife, through her legal representative, wrote a petition on rape against Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo. The petition was filed at the Office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Alagbon, Ikoyi. We had four meetings and about six hours at the police station. The IG personally assigned the file and immediately asked for an action on the case but we deliberately decided not to publicise it because we believed the law would be followed through.
“We had filed the petition before the release of the interview that had been recorded three weeks before. The interview was published on June 28. We have on several occasions met with the police in the course of investigation. We were therefore shocked by the invitation to Abuja when no visible action was taken to interview Mr. Fatoyinbo.”
According to him, since the entire saga began, his life as well as the lives of his wife, Busola, and his three children have been at risk.
The singer alleged that things got worse when the police made their residential address in Lagos public thereby making them susceptible to attacks.
He said: “I didn’t expect that our residential address, where my children live, would be released to the public and since then, we have noticed how my life, my wife’s life and the lives of my children have been put at risk to strange faces around the house. We have been followed home, people are watching our home; we have not been able to do our work. We now have to tell our children why they cannot step outside.”
Timi said his wife had informed him of the alleged rape since last year and it took a while before they both decided to make the matter public. Timi added that the allegation was not targeted at the church, but Fatoyinbo and the matter should thus be treated as a crime and not a campaign against the body of Christ.
He said: “I have never attended COZA in my life. I have never been in the same room with Fatoyinbo in my life, neither have I been a music director.”
Taking to Twitter, Ezekwesili said the operation by the police on the matter “appeared extremely intimidating,” urging the police hierarchy to offer an explanation.
She said: “Just catching up on this and seeing those pictures of the Dakolo’s report of your ‘invitation’ makes this your statement quite curious @PoliceNG. Did not seem your officers executed a regular police invitation.”
The former chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, mocked the police for summoning the Dakolos to answer to cases of criminal conspiracy, falsehood and mischief.
Odinkalu tweeted: “So all of a sudden @policeNG has case of “falsehood, mischief…” non-existent crimes, against @timidakolo?”
Timi had on Saturday revealed through Instagram that he and his wife had been summoned to Abuja by the police over rape allegations made against Fatoyinbo, who was forced to announce a leave of absence as a result of the outrage that greeted the allegations against him.
In an invitation letter dated Thursday, July 18 which the singer posted on Instagram, the police say they are investigating a case of criminal conspiracy, falsehood and mischief, prompting many Nigerians reacting on social media to sense an attempt to turn the case against them.
According to Timi, he and his family will not succumb to bullying on the issue no matter where it is coming from.
Earlier on Saturday, the Bayelsa State-born musician had claimed that some strange men who came in a van with registration number BR 932 KSF, attempted to invade his residence with guns before later assuring fans of the safety of his family members while revealing the police summon.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, said that the invitation was not synonymous with a ‘Warrant of Arrest’ and must not be misconstrued to be one.
He said: “Rather, it is a polite investigative tool used in eliciting information voluntarily from parties to aid police investigations.”
The letter of invitation said to have been released by Dakolo, showed that the couple were to report in Abuja tomorrow.
Also, a columnist with The PUNCH, Abimbola Adelakun, was on Sunday questioned by security men at COZA, in Abuja.
Adelakun, who said she was at the church on Sunday in furtherance of her research on Pentecostal churches, said she was pulled out of the church by the church’s security men, who recognised her, and made her to stay in “one place where they were keeping everybody that they suspected.”
The columnist said her demand to be allowed to leave was refused by the security men. She said the matter had been taken to a police station in Abuja.
On her Twitter handle, @Adunnibaby, the columnist wrote, “I’m aware of the info about my arrest at COZA today. I wasn’t arrested. Earlier, I sent out an image because I was concerned when pulled aside by the protocol department for questioning. Thanks to everyone who has been concerned about me. I am sorry for all the misinformation out there.”