A high court in Abuja has imposed a fine of N1 million on the lawyer of Busola Dakolo, Nigerian celebrity photographer, over her rape allegations against Biodun Fatoyinbo, senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).

Busola, wife to Timi Dakolo, Nigerian gospel singer, has been in a heated legal battle with the clergyman after she had publicly alleged that the COZA pastor forcefully had carnal knowledge of her on two occasions as a teenager.

In the suit, filed on behalf of Busola by Pelumi Olajengbesi, her lawyer, the photographer had alleged that the action of the pastor, as well as his denial in statements made thereafter, caused her “continuous emotional distress” that affected her marital sex life.

“The claimant avers that she was immediately terrified and in shock while the defendant pinned her down on the couch following which he caressed her body, fondled her breasts, pulled her pants, quickly half-pulled his trousers and ordered her to allow him to have his way with her,” Olajengbesi said.

“The claimant avers that the defendant in the process used his hand to cover her mouth, thereby muffling her screams. The claimant avers that the defendant made efforts to penetrate her vagina, whilst she struggled to fight him off; however, the defendant overpowered her and penetrated her vagina and had sexual intercourse with her.

“The claimant avers that while she was in shock of the incident which had rendered her befuddled and mortified, the defendant rushed out of the living room area of her family home and briefly returned with a bottle of soda (Krest) which he forced down her throat thereby making her breathing difficult.”

Oathman Musa, the judge, who presided over the case, described it as a “purely sentimental abuse of judicial process.”

The judge also dismissed the case and ordered Olajengbesi to pay the sum of N1 million which could have been more because the lawyer wasted the court’s time.

“It is for all the reasons I advanced herein before, that I declare this action a vehicle of injustice, judicial intimidation and thorough abuse of judicial process carrying in it an overload of dormant claim and injustice, it must and is hereby dismissed. I hereby award the cost of one million naira (N1, 000, 000) against the claimant’s client personally,” the court statement read.

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BUSOLA TO APPROACH A SUPERIOR COURT

In her reaction, Busola, through her lawyer, acknowledged the court verdict, but vowed to approach a superior court to intervene on the matter.

“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,” said the lawyer.

“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.

“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.”

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to reflect new facts.



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