Nigeria: COZA Rape Scandal - Pastor Fatoyinbo Returns to Pulpit

Message COZA Pastor Fatoyinbo published when the took leave of absence from pulpit.

The Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo, returned to the pulpit on Sunday to a rousing welcome from his congregation.

The controversial pastor made the come back a month after he announced that he would be "taking a leave of absence from the pulpit of the church."

Mr Fatoyinbo's sermon which was screened live on the church's official Instagram page was not publicised on the days leading to Sunday.

The COZA senior pastor delivered a sermon titled 'Sudden victories' in a packed church auditorium amidst cheers and intermittent screams from his congregants.

The cleric has held Nigerian headlines since June when the interview of one of his alleged victims, Busola, wife of popular singer, Timi Dakolo, was made public.

On Sunday, he focused his sermon on the books of 1st Timothy 6:12; Mark 4:35-37 and 1st Corinthians 10:13.

Mr Fatoyinbo, who was clad in a simple white kaftan, said it was written in the Bible that Christians would always face persecution, but God would ensure that they are victorious.

He said, "As a Christian, you must face opposition. If God, who is holy and faithful has enemies, you are sure going to have."

The cleric said most times when faced with troubles, Christians have the tendency to call everyone except God for help.

He noted that the reason most Christians fail is that they address challenging circumstances on the surface, instead of addressing the root of the matter, which is the enemy and putting him in his place.

"in wrestling, any method can be used. When faced with challenging circumstances, pray, fast, decree, confess and prophesy God's victory over your life.

"Most contrary situations around you are set up by the enemy to cripple your faith and keep you on a spot," he preached.

He also prophesied that his parishioners would witness victory in the new month of August.

The development comes just as a member of the church's board, Obafemi Banigbe, resigned on July 19.

Mr Banigbe, a telecom professional, tendered his resignation in a letter addressed to the Senior Pastor of the church.

Mr Bamigbe resigned almost three weeks after the embattled pastor announced that he would be "taking a leave of absence from the pulpit of the church."

At the time, Mr Fatoyinbo said he took the decision after consulting with several spiritual leaders around the world and the leadership of COZA.

The controversial pastor has held Nigerian headlines since June when the interview of one of his alleged victims, Busola, wife of popular singer, Timi Dakolo was made public.

Mrs Dakolo revealed her ordeal in a YouTube interview with Chude Jideonwo published on June 28 on the channel, YNaija.

She alleged that the clergyman raped her in Ilorin, Kwara State when she was 16.

Many Nigerians have asked that the police and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) investigate the case.

Nigeria's First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and some public figures have also called for a thorough investigation.

The preacher denied the allegations, saying in an official church statement that he had never raped a woman "even as an unbeliever."

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