On the evening of Saturday, July 20, 2019, news broke that the Agungi, Lagos residence of gospel musician, Timi Dakolo, had been invaded by police officers.
Pulse has been following the story and this is what we know thus far…
First, let’s start from the beginning.
1..In late June, Ynaija published an interview in which Busola Dakolo, celebratory photographer and wife of Timi Dakolo, alleged that Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth Zion Assembly (COZA) raped her twice in quick succession when she was a teenager.
2..Fatoyinbo first threatened the Dakolos and news platforms with a lawsuit following the allegation, while maintaining that he was innocent of the allegations.
However, following protests at his Lagos and Abuja church branches on June 30, 2019, with sufficient public outrage to boot, Fatoyinbo announced that he was taking a leave of absence from the pulpit.
"Drawing from their counsel and that of the leadership of the 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. Although it would break my heart to tatters to stay a day without doing ministry, I believe it is the right thing to do at this time. It is in the interest of the flock of Christ that issues concerning me do not become a distraction to their worship of their Lord," the pastor had said in a statement announcing his withdrawal from the pulpit.
3..On July 4, 2019, another former member of COZA detailed in an interview that she had also been raped by Pastor Fatoyinbo.
4..A dozen other women were also reportedly ready to come out to testify that Fatoyinbo had sexually assaulted them at one time or the other as his church grew and blossomed from a single outlet in Ilorin, Kwara State to state-of-the-art facilities in Abuja, Lagos and elsewhere.
5..The police officers who stormed Dakolo’s residence last Saturday, arrived in a white van with registration number BR932KSF.
It was Dakolo who first raised the alarm on his Instagram page. “Strange men at house with guns”, he had posted.
6..He would later share the following (we’ve decided not to edit his words): “Our lawyers had told us to get ready for this letter.
We have long been ready for this type of institutionalized intimidation and dirtiness. Investigating officials have frustrated as a result of underhand delay? Dirty bloggers are fabricating things that cover the truth , going to the IG's people under dark to force this case to be posted to Abuja? Now this: a false investigation in Abuja when our own petition filed since June has not been answered and NO INVITATION HAS BEEN MADE TO THE ACCUSED IN A RAPE CASE????! NOT ONE MOVEMENT TOWARDS JUSTICE??? Rubbishing the legal and criminal system ?
And sending a bus load of questionable armed "policemen" and shady men lying in wait to intimidate my wife and children today, forcing their way into my home? Is that how the REAL police delivers a letter ? This is best you can do? This is why all the hurting women and families havent come out with HORRIBLE THINGS DONE TO THEM???!!
You picked the wrong one and you picked the wrong time. Nigerians are more awake than you think.
I will fight for my wife and my children -it's the promise I made with my life and one I intend to keep .I will defend them from the unrelenting attack of a weak man who thinks he can use money and power to cover for all of his crimes.
Like I said ,we have since been ready.
GIVE US THE FIRE, THEN WATCH ME WORK!
7..Pulse understands that the police officers who arrived Dakolo’s home were at the address to drop off a letter from police headquarters in Abuja. The letter essentially invited the Dakolos over to Abuja for questioning.
8..The letter from the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, contained the following words: “This office is investigating a case of criminal conspiracy, falsehood, mischief and threat to life that your name was mentioned.
“You are kindly requested to interview the undersigned officer on 23/07/2019 by 1000hrs for fact findings, through DSP. Ibrahim Agu with telephone number 0803786….
"Accept my warmest regards please".
9..Pulse also understands that a team of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Lagos arrived the Dakolo residence for a rescue, initially thinking the musician’s home had been invaded by thugs or cultists.
The police team from Abuja were out of the Dakolo premises when the police squad from Lagos arrived the vicinity.
10..As members of the public expressed outrage over the development, the police issued a statement through DCP Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
According to the police, its presence at the residence of the Dakolos did not amount to a warrant of arrest.
The statement reads as follows: The Nigeria Police Force is confirming that its operatives today, 20th July, 2019 served official Invitation Letters on Bisola (sic) and Timi Dakolo.
The invitation is sequel to an on-going police investigation touching on the wider and highly publicized case involving Bisola Dakolo, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo and others.
It is important however to note that a Police Invitation Letter is not synonymous with a Warrant of Arrest, and must not be construed to be one. Rather, it is a polite investigative tool used in eliciting information voluntarily from parties to aid police investigations.
Members of the public should see it as a legitimate act in line with the constitutional mandate of the police, which among other things include the investigation of all complaints brought before it.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP MA Adamu NPM, mni has appealed for calm, and is reassuring Nigerians that the Police Force under his watch will remain professional, impartial and unreservedly committed to the pursuit of justice in this case and all other cases before it.
11..First Lady Aisha Buhari and former Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri, have tweeted their support for the Dakolos in the wake of the police visit.