A human right group, Social Justice League, has condemned the police handling of the rape case against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, the senior pastor Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).
It argued that Fatoyinbo should not be treated as a criminal.
Busola Dakolo, married to Timi Dakola, had accused Fatoyinbo of raping her twice while she was a teenager.
The COZA pastor has repeatedly denied the allegation.
The group made stated this in a statement jointly signed by its director, Atta Ogah and Secretary, Bitrus Godwin.
“The police appear to have compromised, or else, why should they subject the pastor to humiliation by searching his house in Abuja for an offence allegedly committed in Ilorin 18 or 20 uncertain years ago? Why should his passport be seized? That he will run away?”
The group also condemned the “unlawful raiding and searching” of the premises of COZA.
“What were they looking for; evidence of rape in order to nail the accused? This is a bizarre and condemnable method of investigation.
“Rape allegation is a very serious matter that should not be glossed over. However, no one should be treated as if he or she is already guilty during and after investigation until a court of competent jurisdiction gives its final verdict on the matter strictly on law,” it added.
The SJL also expressed dissatisfaction about the police’s attitude toward the alleged victim, Dakolo.
“We are surprised that the complainant (Busola) appears to be enjoying preferential treatment in the hands of the police for a rather strange reason. Under normal circumstances, this is not supposed to be so.
“Pastor Fatoyinbo is not a criminal; he is a mere suspect of a very controversial allegation, which is what the police have as a responsibility to find out instead of treating the accused as a criminal.
“We therefore strongly advise and warn that until proven otherwise, the law must fully protect both the complainant and the accused equally,” it said.