COZA: Why I shunned PFN panel –Fatoyinbo

The Founder and Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly,  Biodun Fatoyinbo, has said he shunned  the panel set up by the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria to investigate the rape allegations levelled against him by a photographer, Bisola Dakolo, because his  lawyers  advised him not to appear.

The PFN had said on Thursday, its probe into the allegations against Fatoyinbo was inconclusive because he failed to honour the invitation to appear before the panel.

But the Senior Assistant to the COZA Pastor, Ademola Adetuberu, in a statement  on Friday said the legal advice was also premised on the statement   by the PFN President, Bishop Felix Omobude, “where our pastor was publicly disowned”.

The statement read, “We recall that when Pastor Fatoyinbo was invited by a phone call a  few days ago by Pastor Akinola Akinwale, who is the National Administrative Secretary of PFN, we explained that our pastor would not honour the invitation due to legal advice hinged on the ongoing police investigation.

“The legal advice was also premised on the statement  signed by the PFN President, Bishop Felix Omobude, where our pastor was publicly disowned.

“Based on the foregoing, we are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the PFN was already prejudiced and may not conduct an impartial session.

“According to the report, Rev Omobude, who we hold in high esteem, went further to crucify our pastor without seeking to know his side of the story on the matter. With all due respect, we consider this a prejudicial position in dispensing justice and fairness.”

Fatoyinbo argued that “Even our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was given an opportunity for fair hearing by the kangaroo panel set up with the prime motive of condemning Him to death.”

He said there was no invitation letter  from the panel or the PFN, apart from a  telephone call requesting him to appear before the panel, adding that a PFN officer who spoke to one of his lawyers was informed that he (Fatoyinbo) would not appear before the panel until the police investigation was concluded.

The embattled cleric, however,  said  he could  appear before the panel after the conclusion of the police investigation.

The statement added, “Once the police investigation is over, our pastor is ready to honour the invitation. We have also been legally advised to deploy judicial intervention to clear our pastor as soon as possible, and the process has commenced.”