By Glam & Essence
A civil rights organisation under the aegis of Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers and Advocates, on Monday opened a fresh chapter in the allegation of rape against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth Zion Assembly.
The organisation specifically said information at its disposal suggested that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, was planning to transfer the case to Abuja.
The convener of COPA, Pelumi Olajengbesi, in a statement in Abuja, said the case would be diligently monitored with a view to checking the abuse of the process by parties.
Rather than transfer the case to Abuja, he advised that priority must also be given to the security and convenience of the vital and primary witness and Fatoyinbo’s alleged rape victim, Busola Dakolo.
Olajengbesi reminded the police that a valid and active warrant of arrest against Fatoyinbo had yet to be executed, adding that the police would be setting itself up for ridicule and suspicion, “and are in themselves in gross contempt of their oath of office and duties as enforcers of civil and criminal discipline.”
According to him, the handling of such a delicate, yet grievous allegation against Pastor Fatoyinbo “will go a long way to either mar or make the reputation of the Nigeria Police Force as an institution of discipline and an objective principal in the pursuit of justice.”
He stressed that the allegation of rape must not be moved to Abuja for Fatoyinbo’s sake. Olajengbesi ,however noted that keen observation of the processes being undertaken by the police on the matter revealed ,“a lacklustre and suspicious plot underfoot to give a soft landing to the suspect.”
The statement read: “Our demands are simply that the matter be allowed its due course within the jurisdiction where the complaint was filed. Transferring the case to Abuja from Lagos where it was originally filed prejudices the complainant while extending a kid’s glove to the accused who perhaps feels too connected to deign to go to Lagos to answer to the serious allegations against him.
“We are vehemently opposed to such a move and demand that this matter be thoroughly investigated and the accused invited to the place of domicile of the victim especially given the matter was filed there.
“Let it be abundantly clear that we are sufficiently conscious of the law in matters of jurisdiction as to investigation and prosecution of criminal matters. In this matter, investigation can take place in Lagos, Nigeria and if any place should be given premium attention, it is the place of residence of the victim to aid and facilitate proper information needed by the police and not the place of residence of the accused.”