Nigeria: Angry Protesters Storm Coza Lagos Church

Church of Zion Assembly protests in Abuja

Dozens of protesters on Sunday stormed the Maryland, Lagos, building of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly church (COZA).

The protesters who were clad in white t-shirts convened at the popular Opic Plaza, carrying placards with various inscriptions.

They all called for the arrest and prosecution of the embattled leader of COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, "No to rape", "Biodun own up" and "Biodun gbe body e."

Mr Fatoyinbo, who has been enmeshed in sex scandals in the past, was accused of rape by Busola, wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo, on Friday

The massive secluded church compound was guarded by armed military men when PREMIUM TIMES attempted to gain entry on Sunday.

The officers, who watched the protesters from a distance, ensured that they did not come close to the entrance.

One of the conveners of the protest, Princess Olufemi-Kayode, said multiple rape allegations have been made against Mr Fatoyinbo and the protest is a call for COZA to address it leadership.

She added that the pastor should face the disciplinary committee and step down.

She also revealed that they (the protesters) received threatening calls on Saturday night. She said the calls were recorded while the identities of the callers have been revealed by Trucaller.

Seun Olasebe, who said he is a former member of the church, said it was no coincidence that several accusations have been made against the pastor.

"He is a serial rapist, we cannot continue this way," he said.

Funmi Ajayi of the Community Women Initiative said the protest is about rape, and how it is being orchestrated in the church.

"We have many testimonies against the church, we want to use him as a scapegoat, and we want our teenagers to speak up about how they have been molested by irresponsible men. Our slogan is: Touch not my body Rape is an offence."

Meanwhile, COZA members arrived at their church on Sunday in large numbers despite the scandal which broke out on Friday.

A similar protest was also held at the Abuja headquarters of COZA.

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