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November 14, 2019
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Alleged rape: Ashimolowo may testify in suit against COZA pastor

KINGSWAY International Christian Centre (KICC) Founder Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo may be called as witness in a suit filed against the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Senior Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.

Celebrity photographer Mrs. Busola Dakolo had approached an Abuja High Court to seek redress over the emotional distresses she was subjected to by the alleged rape she suffered from Pastor Fatoyinbo as a teenager.

Among the witnesses listed to support her case is Ashimolowo, who could be subpoenaed by the court to testify if he refused to appear.

The civil suit filed on behalf of Mrs. Dakolo by her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has been a new twist to the alleged crime committed by Pastor Fatoyinbo on September 23 and 26, 2002.

Mrs. Dakolo said the pastor inflicted intentional emotional distress on her, adding that the alleged rape affected her marital sex life.

She said her injury was compounded by Fatoyinbo’s denial contained in a statement released on June 28, after she gave horrid details of the incident in an interview with Chude Jideonwo.

In her statement of claims, Mrs. Dakolo averred that the alleged rape negatively affected her sex life, adding that Fatoyinbo’s denial of the alleged rape contained jointly and/or severally through a press statement he released on June 28, had caused her continuous emotional distress and amounted to intentional infliction of emotional distress on her.

Olajengbesi said: “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 pant, quickly half-pulled his trousers and ordered her to allow him have his way with her.”

The claimant alleged that defendant used his hand to cover her mouth, thereby muffling her screams as he tried to forcefully violate her, claiming that the defendant eventually overpowered her.

He added: “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.”

Mrs. Dakolo, therefore, sought an order of court compelling Fatoyinbo to tender a clearly worded public apology on the front pages of two national newspapers and two national television stations for seven days.

Mrs. Dakolo prayed the court for an order mandating Fatoyinbo to address a personal letter of apology to her showing honest remorse for his misdeeds.

Already, the court in a writ of summons had ordered Fatoyinbo to within 14 days, inclusive of the day of service of the writ, enter appearance in the action brought against him by Mrs. Dakolo or risk judgment being given in his absence if he defaulted.

News of the civil suit set social media abuzz yesterday with mixed reactions trailing Mrs. Dakolo’s alleged demand of N10 million damages against the pastor.

The Nation gathered that the cost, which is at the discretion of the court, would be awarded to cover legal charges and other expenses incurred during the trial if the case is decided in her favour.

The police have been investigating the case since Mrs. Dakolo went public with her allegation and had already recorded the statements of principal witnesses including two COZA pastors said to have known about the alleged rape.

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