Busola Dakolo, the wife of musician Timi Dakolo, has reacted to Biodun Fatoyinbo's victory in court on Thursday
A Nigerian judge, Othman Musa, dismissed the rape allegations against Mr Fatoyinbo, a famous Abuja-based preacher of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly.
Mr Musa dismissed the case filed by Mrs. Dakolo on Thursday afternoon, saying it was statute-barred because it happened decades ago.
The judge also said the case was aimed more at punishing Mr Fatoyinbo than obtaining justice.
Controversial actress, Tonto Dikeh, was the first celebrity to congratulate the pastor on his court victory.
"You can't mock God. I celebrate with PB," she wrote on Mr Fatoyinbo's Instagram page.
Mrs Dakolo bared her thoughts on the court ruling in a two-part Instagram post on Thursday evening.
She explained that she "set out to ease the hurt, the sense of shame and abuse, the nightmares and traumas not by securing judicial victory only but by boldly sharing my story and calling out my transgressor robed in the vestiges of clerical power and pretence".
She also pointed out some discrepancies in the court process and the ruling.
Mrs Busola said she found it curious that the judge gave a final ruling after the court claimed that the case file had gone missing.
"I was particularly surprised at the hearing of the case when the court said the file was missing and later when the court said my own processes cannot be found and finally, the case is out of time. This only shows that we have a lot to address to bring sanity to our country," she noted.
The mother-of-three also said that although a judgement has been ruled in the clergyman's favour, it has, however, not declared him innocent of the crimes.
Mrs Dakolo filed the suit against Mr Fatoyinbo after alleging that he raped her in 2002 and caused her emotional distress.
Mr Fatoyinbo's lawyers, led by Alex Izinyon, had argued that the prayers in the suit were frivolous and an abuse of court process.
Read the full text of Mrs Dakolo's statement below
I have just been briefed by my lawyers on the court's ruling in the matter before it pertaining to my stand against injustice represented by the reprehensible actions of Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo and, in light of the present and anticipated inquiries from friends, family, and well-wishers, it is pertinent to convey my sincere reaction to the said ruling.
When I set about confronting one of my biggest fears and a horrible experience from my past, the first hurdle was finding the confidence to. Victims usually do not find a place for their voice, certainly not in our deeply conservative country where might is right and virtue while innocence is a licence for abuse and disregard. I had no illusions about the herculean task before me in not only openly confronting the man behind the mask but seeking remedy and sanction against him before the court.
I set out to ease the hurt, the sense of shame and abuse, the nightmares and traumas not by securing judicial victory only but by boldly sharing my story and calling out my transgressor robed in the vestiges of clerical power and pretence. I understood and accepted that by voicing out I was silencing the screams in the night.
Ever since my story broke, the reactions were mixed but largely comforting. I noted that otherwise hushed victims of rape and sexual abuse were taking a cue from my stoicism in the face of ridicule and opposition and sharing their equally appalling stories. It is in this response that my victory was sealed, in knowing that one woman's boldness could encourage others and challenge the institutionalized silence and the repression of the victim's narrative by a culture of guilt-tripping, stigma and an inexplicable clamour to make irrational excuses for sexual offenders.
Even so, there is much to be said about what transpired in court. In the court's wisdom, my legal action is statue barred and that means the time has passed within which I could or should have initiated the suit.
The substance of the suit which is my allegations of sexual abuse leading to emotional distress on my person against Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo has neither been entertained by the court nor ruled up
I believe that the effect of the injurious claim is a continuous one that transcends time and place.
This has only made me wonder more about what a country we have. I was particularly surprised at the hearing of the case when the court said the file was missing and later when the court said my own processes cannot be found and finally the case is out of time. This only shows that we have a lot to address to bring sanity to our country.
Today, I am glad that my voice is not silenced and this is a victory for me. I must encourage every woman out there to keep the pace and never stop voicing out against the evil of rape and sexual abuse. Do not be dispirited by today's court decision.
No judgement has been made declaring the innocence of Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo. It must be stated that while our experience have a shared theme, the circumstances are different. We must not give up on our victory lies more in finding our voice than anything else.
I thank my dear husband for his continuous support, friends, our legal team and all who have been standing with us on this as I assure you all I am very fine.