President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Revd Samson Ayokunle, on Thursday advised Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, Founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), and Busola, wife of popular soul singer Timi Dakolo, to forgive each other and reconcile following the dismissal of the rape case involving them by a Federal Capital Territory High Court.
Busola had accused Fatoyinbo of raping her in 2002, sued and demanded the pastor paid her the sum of N10,000,000 compensation.
But the Court, in a ruling by Justice O. A Musa, exonerated Fatoyinbo, and also fined the plaintiff, the cost of N1,000,000.
Justice Musa held that the matter amounted to injustice, sentimental, empty and an abuse of judicial process, adding that it could have been ten times more but that it was lenient considering the fact that some victims with legitimate claims might approach the court in the future.
Reacting to the ruling, Pastor Fatoyinbo, in a statement signed by his Senior Executive Assistant, Pastor Ademola Adetuberu, dedicated his victory in Court to the Church.
He said: "The victory is of the Lord. We dedicate it to those who stand by us. The victory belongs to God, not to me or COZA. We will not share in His glory. The enemies are after the Church and not after me per se.
"They only used me as a scapegoat to launch the attacks. We know that faithful is He who has called us. I salute the courage and the support of my beautiful and godly wife, my lovely children, members of COZA family and those who stand by us.
"May God be praised in your life. I bear no grudge against those who were used by the adversary of the Church but instead, I pray for them that we should come together to fight the common enemies of the Church.
"My soul goes to men who are wrongly accused and women who are or have been abused. May God heal the wounds of every one of us."
Speaking on behalf of the CAN President, his media aide, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, said in a telephone interview with Vanguard: "While we note that the image of the Nigerian Church and its leadership was dented before and during the court proceedings, CAN urges Pastor Fatoyinbo and Mrs Dakolo, to put away all that has transpired and reconcile.
"The Church preaches forgiveness and reconciliation, and that is our position as the umbrella body of Christians in the country.
"We begrudge neither Pastor Fatoyinbo nor Busola Dakolo, and urge them to extend a similar hand of love and fellowship to each other."