By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, who was alleged to have raped Busola Dakolo, wife of popular Nigerian musician, Timi, several years ago, has announced his decision to take “leave of absence from the pulpit of the church”.
His decision is coming amid protests at the Lagos and Ilorin branches of the church, as well as the Abuja headquarters.
In a statement he released on his Instagram handle on Monday, he said his decision was in line with the advice of his spiritual mentors, who urged him to step down from the pulpit for the moment.
Although Busola had accused him of raping her repeatedly when she was 16, Fatoyinbo had earlier issued a statement debunking the claims, while threatening to sue for defamation of character.
Announcing his decision to step down Monday, he said: “I have taken time to pray and seek spiritual counsel from Christian leaders around the world who feel very concerned about the ongoing reports in the media.
“I have solicited their guidance on actions I should take that is honouring to our Lord Jesus Christ and the work he has called me to do.
“Drawing from their counsel and that of the leadership of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly and owing to my love for God’s work and the sacred honour of my calling, I have decided to take a leave of absence from the pulpit of the church.
“This step enables me to submit to the concerns of my spiritual mentors as they consider all the issues that have been raised against me.
“Though I do not understand all that is happening, I trust the Lord to lead and guide me one step at a time.”