…As Coalition of lawyers urges IGP to ensure justice over ‘COZA’ rape***
The Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial Zone, Elisha Abbo on Monday pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge of criminal force and assault leveled against him, after being docked before a Zuba Chief Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly assaulting a nursing mother.
The police prosecution counsel, James Idachaba told the court that the matter was reported by one Mrs Warmate Osimibibra of plot 426 Adebayo Adodeji Street Utako, at the Maitama Police Station Abuja on May 14; even as Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, to ensure justice is served in case of rape involving Mr Biodun Fatoyinbo, Senior Pastor, Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).
Idachaba said that matter was later transferred to criminal investigation and intelligence department FCT Police Command for discreet investigation.
He alleged that the Senator committed the offence on May 11 at Pleasure Chest Shop FA 45 Located at Bannex Plaze Aminu Kano Crescent Wuse II Abuja.
The prosecutor also alleged that Abbo used criminal force and assaulted the complainant by slapping her severally on her face and forcefully dragging her shirt without provocation.
Idachaba said the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 262 and 263 of the Penal Code.
Mr Adegbite Adeniyi, Counsel to the Senator, made an oral application for the bail of the defendant, citing Section 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution.
Adeniyi, also cited Sections 158 and 163 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.
Abbo’s counsel also told the court to grant the defendant bail on self-recognition adding that he will not jump bail nor intimidate any evidence or further investigation in the case, adding that the defendant is a family man and has being on police administrative bail.
The prosecutor however opposed the application of the defendant counsel on granting the defendant bail on self-recognition.
Idachaba also did not opposed other bail application made by the defendant counsel but prayed the court to grant him date to open his case against the senator.
The Magistrate, Abdullahi Ilelah said that the court has evaluated the applications and it is convinced that admitting the defendant on bail would not in any way hurt the prosecution.
However, Ilelah admitted Abbo to bail in the sum of N5 million, with two reliable sureties in like sum.
Ilelah ordered that the sureties must present valid means of identification and must reside within the court jurisdiction and adjourned the case until July 22 for hearing.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) has urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu to ensure justice is served in case of rape involving Mr Biodun Fatoyinbo, Senior Pastor, Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).
Recall that Mrs Busola Dakolo, wife of Nigeria’s inspirational singer, Timi Dakolo accused the pastor of raping her, when she was 17 years.
The allegation necessitated the stepping down of Fatoyinbo as the Senior Pastor of the church.
However, Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi, Convener of COPA in a statement on Monday urged Adamu to ensure the matter was not swept under the carpet and that the suspect should be tried in Lagos where the matter was reported.
“Our demands are simply that the matter be allowed its due course within the jurisdiction where the complaint was filed.”
He called on the police to take urgent action on the matter that was already in the public glare without giving rooms for doubt in their ability.
He also called for the execution of a valid and active warrant of arrest against Fatoyimbo in order to restore the confidence of the ordinary Nigerians.
The COPA leader further stated that the coalition would diligently continue to monitor matters as they arise to ensure fairness and justice.
It would be recalled that Mrs Busola Dakolo filed a petition against pastor Biodun on the 27th of June, 2019, at the Office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Alagbon, Ikoyi.