Busola Dakolo, a celebrity photographer has denied making any claim for compensation from the founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo who she accused of raping her as a 17-year-old.
Counsel to Dakolo and public interest lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, made the clarification in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. This statement was backed up with court documents released to Punch.
He said the N10 million quoted by the media is the cost of the activities carried out by her lawyers, to wit, litigation fee.
According to him: “Following the misinformation being circulated in print and social media on the pending suit filed by our client, it has become imperative to address and clarify the true state of affairs.
“The Nigeria Police Force is still investigating the allegation of rape made by our client against the person of Biodun Fatoyinbo.
“In furtherance of the Police investigation, the suspect (Biodun Fatoyinbo) was confronted by the complainant (our client) on September 5, 2019, at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Area 10, Abuja, during an investigation conference presided over by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mike Ogbizi.
“The Police, therefore, have not taken anyone to court.
“However, our client, in furtherance of her civil rights, and in line with constitutional provisions, filed a civil suit against Biodun Fatoyinbo on September 6, 2019.
“The civil suit is independent of the criminal allegations and/or investigation of the Police.
“The suit has been the subject of several news headlines, albeit with a lot of misleading information. This missive is aimed at clarifying the misinformation and setting the records straight.
“First, our client filed the civil suit against Biodun Fatoyinbo on September 6, 2019, at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and not the Federal High Court, as widely reported.
“As of the time of filing the suit, the same was yet to be assigned to a judge for a hearing.
“Secondly, the court did not issue any summons on our client and the fourteen (14) days given to the defendant (Biodun Fatoyinbo), within which to enter appearance to the writ of summons commences from the date of personal service of said suit on the person of Biodun Fatoyinbo and this certainly will be after the matter has been assigned to a judge.
“Thirdly, our client has not sought any monetary damages and/or compensation against Biodun Fatoyinbo in her reliefs.
“This is because our client’s reason for filing the civil suit against Biodun Fatoyinbo is, inter alia, for the court to make pronouncements on her rights as well as Biodun’s liabilities and also, to help other victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse gain the courage to confront their abusers, no matter how highly placed they may be.
“Importantly, the N10 million quoted by the media is the cost of the activities carried out by her lawyers, to wit, litigation fee.
“Finally, we would like to state that it is against the ethics of the legal profession to make statements on the substance of the matter that is still pending in court.
“In view of this, we cannot make statements on other important issues surrounding the action.”