Judging A Shepherd: Defogging Fatoyinbo’s Media Mistrial


By Louis Achie, Editor, Leadership.

A little over 2,000 years ago, after spending the night on the Mount of Olives, Jesus of Nazareth arrived in the Temple area and began teaching the people who had flocked to him. Then unannounced, scribes and the Pharisees hauled before him a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery.

Citing the Mosaic Law,they said, “Teacher, thiswoman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

At first, Jesus says nothing, preferring instead to write on the ground with his finger. But as the scribes and Pharisees pressed for a response, Jesus quietly proclaimed with divine insight, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And he resumed his writing on the ground.

One by one, the woman’s accusers sneaked off until only the woman and Jesus remained. Jesus asked her where everyone had gone. When she replied that no one was left to condemn her, Jesus indicated he also does not condemn her, then said, “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

With this, he forced the woman’s accusers to look inward at their own guilt in violating the very same law. St. Augustine succinctly captures this timeless biblical narrative: “Hence, either let this woman go, or together with her receive the penalty of the law.”

Today, a curious and pathetic attempt to replicate this historical, teachable moment was apparently misscripted and poorly Nollywoodised to attempt the destruction of a shepherd of Christ in the person of the founding leader of The Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo. The character cast of this media-powered skit includes mother of three, Mrs. Busola Dakolo, as lead actress with her musician husband Timi Dakolo in a strong supporting role.

The script simply needed adroit positioning to generate a feeding frenzy for media sharks and stakeholders who may already have an axe to grind with the inimitable COZA pastor. Additionally, from dark calculations, Timi Dakolo’s star musician status was supposed to theoretically pull in fellow musicians and entertainment industry players into the fray.

But as in many quirky, over-ambitious scams, Mrs. Busola Dakolo has unwittingly put herself on the spot and invited a powerful public scrutiny into her persona, family background (unfortunately) and colourless life story. Currently, she stands forlornly alone with a contrived stone to cast at a target she has tragically misread. She stands, forced to look at her own guilt in embarking on an ill-advised voyage.

The mother of three has miserably failed to understand that, “Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are,” according to Wayne Dyer. Busola has also unwittingly breached the venerable wisdom of Billy Graham who counseled Christians that, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.”   

What are the key ingredients of this foggy script?  Busola had granted a YouTube interview laced with venom and sympathy-seeking to Chude Jideonwo, published on Friday by the channel,YNaija, owned by RED Media Group, alleging she was raped by the COZA senior pastor when she was below 18.

While the timing and mode of interview speak to a deliberate plot, her motive was carefully shielded. Her tag-team member husband Timi Dakolo who’s clearly not acting alone with Busola brings a dimension and insight into the dark calculations that inspired the venomous Nollywood drama.

Granting a chaperoned interview to a practitioner who public relations rather than core journalism have shaped his career, raises more questions than answers. Who really is (or are) secretly behindTimi Dakolo who had previously targeted Pastor Fatoyinbo and failed woefully? What really is the secret game underway to bring down this revolutionary shepherd of Christ?

Even the timing of release of the interview video on Friday June 28 was a kind of a devilish master-stroke because every movie is released at the cinemas on a Friday. The reason is that the Friday leads into the weekend to give an extended period of time for the release to gain traction. Clearly, the decision to release the video on Friday was to gain maximum exposure with little room for response in the course of the week.

More sinister was that the timing of the attack this weekend, just before COZA’s “7 Days of Glory,” starting on July 1. It was no coincidence. It was targeted at creating the worst weekend for the church to contend with such a distraction. With the magnitude of a major event and the presence of international guests, the damage is expected to be colossal. A crucial takeaway here is that both the pastor and church are dealing with a sophisticated and coordinated attack. But they underestimated the inner strength that comes with genuine faith.

Trade Club

Clearly, folks cannot simply be judged and sentenced based on the social media. This is simply because media trial is no trial. It’s based on who spoke first. Nigeria is a law-governed country and procedures abound to deal with genuine cases of rights infringement and more.

It is worth recalling that fake rape accusations get a lot of attention.Since April 2017, over 263 celebrities, politicians, CEOs, pastors and others who have been accused of sexual misconduct since April 2017 in the US. Much of these remain unproven.

A relevant article to this analysis in New York-based Quartzpublication, by Sandra Newman, points to research from the British Home Office showing that in the early 2000s, of the 216 cases that were classified as false allegations, only six led to an arrest. Of those six, only two had charges brought against them and those two were found to be false.

According to a 2017 report by the US National Institutes of Health, fake accusers “were primarily motivated by emotional gain. Most false allegations were used to cover up other behaviour such as adultery or skipping school”. In many cases the fake accuser has a history of lying to authorities or committing fraud and she may well have a criminal record.

This analysis is by no means supporting sexual harassment. But simultaneously it supports dealing sternly with women who plot to destroy folks for reasons lacking moral or legal merit. In this wise, the position of Pastor Fatuyinbo is a rational and restrained move in the face of blatant character assassination and unwarranted attacked on the church.

Pastor Fatuyinbo had identified extortion, blackmail, harassment and intimidation as key ingredients driving plots against his person and correctly characterized them as criminal. In a principled footing, he has dismissed Busola’s desperate drivel as fallacious and non-existent.

He captured the kernel of his stand with compelling but restrained candour in harmony with his calling. His words: “As an individual and as a church, we love and support people, we will never condone any form of rape, harassment, or intimidation of anybody. I have never in my life raped anybody even as an unbeliever and I am absolutely innocent of this.

“Busola Dakolo, who has made this false allegation and her family, attended the church during the early start of the church in Ilorin in 1999. I never had any private interactions with her beyond my pastoral duties. Looking at her status and that of her husband, I am dumbfounded by why she would say such a thing.”

Vowing to take a tough stance against the rape allegation, the naturally miffed pastor stated that, “We will also not stand for false criminal allegations made against me or the church. The leadership of the church and I have briefed our lawyers to commence criminal and civil actions against all individuals making such false allegations whether directly or by proxies.

“We will as a church pursue every measure within the ambits of the law to bring culprits to justice. We have heard and we will not be surprised to see more of such allegations by people who have been paid to continue in this line of blackmail, harassment and extortion, including those who may have been dismissed from their duties in the church on disciplinary grounds.”

According to Canadian-based philosopher, entrepreneur, and authorMatshona Dhliwayo,“Never judge an eagle by the opinion of turkeys.”This because those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.


Louis Achie

Editor, Leadership


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