COZA RAPE: Men Are Endangered Species; Urgent Need to Place Rape, Similar Offences Under Statute of Limitation
If you play the best of song and ask us all to dance, none of us would dance in same way and manner except it is rehearsed; Give us all same questions of facts, we would never answer them same way - that is the life and tides of the affairs of men - Richarmond O. Natha-Alade
I had followed with keen interest the Dakolos and the Fatoyinbos of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) on the alleged repeated sexual assaults and rape dated back to about Twenty years ago; I am saddened, not only because rape is bad, but because allegations is no proof of guilt or occurrence of an events; allegations and/or accusations are mere words of mouths subject to findings, investigation, study, examination, inquiry, search, exploration, probe, verifications, reconnaissance, prove, analysis, survey, scrutiny, enquiry, review and forensics (if necessary), all in bid to test the veracity and/or truthfulness of any of such statement made as made, if it would ever be found. And just before the end of the entire process of findings and/or searching for the truth, a lot may have been destroyed and/or damaged within the person accused of wrong.
Conscience analysis: Take Biodun Fatoyinbo as your son, husband, friend, brother or ‘sympathee’, will you agree he raped about 20 years ago, when he told you he never did? On the other hand, take Busola Dakolo as your sister, wife, friend, daughter or ‘sympathee’, wouldn’t you belief her story of being raped / deflowered by a sleek and handsome pastor in the circumstance? That is the natural sentiment in men that only God (not men) can clear doubts on and judge accordingly. Yet, even the spirit atimes and in some circumstance pitches tent with one man against another, no matter what had happened and who is guilty (check that out). I am therefore satisfied, that no matter the side of the coin or divide you chose to stand, you are right in your own opinion and belief on this matter. Yet, no matter your stand, its a mere expression sentiment.
In my poise to reach a balanced view on the issue at hand; factually and Legally, I hereby declare that I do not know either of the parties (Mr. Fatoyinbo and Mrs. Dakolo) in person, by extension, affiliation or benefit. In forming my opinion, I would also not be persuaded to judge or make inferences as to their pasts and stories which I cannot attest or verify.
Rape is bad and condemnable in the uttermost language of derision and punishments; for no reason should a man rape a woman, and for no reason should a woman rape a man; notwithstanding the demonic venom now unleashed on the world; of which men are often the soft and easy targets of rape accusations due to their nature (which is of common knowledge), and women a big sac of sympathy when allegations as rape is involved; even though it never happened.
Unfortunately, safe in some instances and cases, no one comes up to accuse you or remind you of hundred years ago of your wrongdoing when you are nobody or when your are barely trying to find your feet in the place of men, but accusations comes after you have come out big and successful in your chosen career or life.
Under the law, Busola Dakolo's Story as it were is believable and in actual fact, any story is believable, no matter how porous, disjointed or imperfect the narration may be; it may only be extremely difficult to proof since the onus of proof in our criminal jurisprudence is ‘beyond reasonable doubts’ and not ‘beyond the shadow of doubts’. Yet, an extremely difficult situation is not equal to impossibility.
Under our law, no evidence, or facts, no matter how porous, disjointed or imperfect can displace the truth, especially if the accused by confession, body language and circumstantial facts puts himself at the mercy of the accuser; by the reaction of COZA Lord, Fatoyinbo, it seems he has in the most brazen manner put himself at the mercy of Busola and made her stories quite very much believable, viz:
- He never denied not sleeping with or ‘disflowering’ Busola as a pastor
- He never denied she was not underage when it happened
- He never denied the fact that they were close and always home-call on each other.
- He never denied that the sex between the duo was not once
- He never denied the Krest drink allegation, after the initial sex.
- He never denied the accuser’s allegations of confrontation by her family members and intervention of some named pastors in the church who allegedly begged on his behalf after the second incident.
- He only denied he never raped Busola and that he has never raped in his entire life, even as an unbeliever.
When a woman or a man accuses you of rape, the first thing that comes to mind was whether in the first place, you were at a point in time at same place (secluded or not) together, the next question that comes to mind is whether you slept with him/her or attempted to sleep with him/her; it is thereafter, the next question comes up for a diagnose as to if such sex was mutual and/or consensual: only God or Satan who is in the other room or such hidden place with the two parties can answer this question satisfactory, if there is no person that witnessed same. You were never there, so you wouldn’t have known. You can only belief what you are told by either of the parties. But certainly, either of them is lying. How then do you find out the liar? Men can only try, but it will take the divine to answer factual aspect as it was, except is genuinely confessed to.
Assuming but not conceding that Busola consented to rape at age (17) Seventeen, by our law, an infant or a young person is not capable of consenting to sex if he or she has not attained the adult age of 18 (Eighteen) years. Even where such consent is given or obtained, it amounts to a rape. It is not an excuse that you were seduced or lured into the act.
Considering the above facts and putting the age of young Busola into consideration, she claimed she was Seventeen years old as at the time of alleged actus reus. being quite a young person as at then, can we sufficiently dismiss her claim as to not knowing what to do as at the time and when it happened? Can we by our church mind rightfully dismiss her likelihood of silence and refusal to tell anyone at her first time when she just started to barely face life? Wouldn’t that be too hasty and prematurely judgmental? How many persons of that time who were raped by their father, close associate or someone they had feelings for and/or a sought of bond with would ordinarily disclose same to anyone if it happened? What was your first sexual experiences like? Busola also made a statement that she “was afraid to tell anyone for the fear of her life and family safety, because the pastor used to preach of his past as cultist… although, Busola claimed she later opened up to her siblings after the second incident and also named some pastors in the church were aware, and they actually begged on the accused pastor’s behalf’ in all this, remember, not all persons are loud, bold and outspoken. We are all different by nature. For clarity of facts as to the nature of the allegations; I shall post the link of the full interview at the bottom of this article.
Going on, under the law, we call something ‘demeanor’, which are the combinations of body language, facial expression, intelligence, self-guilt feelings, conducts, appearance, expression, performance, attitude, bearing, deportment and mien of any person giving testimony or evidence of any factual situation or circumstance.
Adjudging from the video of Busola Dakolo on the rape allegation, which many adjudged as factually porous, perforated and disjointed, I make bold to say that by the demeanor of Busola in that video, she nailed it. By my personal assessment, having severally watched and studied the video, she was calm, responsible looking, quiet quiet in nature, quiet confident, quite certain, quiet ashamed of her past experience, quiet sequential, cozy and averagely saddened. In all honesty, when I compared her demeanor with the corresponding body language, wordings and general demeanor of the COZA pastor accused; if I were to be a Judge, my conviction as to the fact that Busola is speaking the truth has 75 percent chance.
In all of this: men are endangered species prone to destruction by the use of any woman. Once you are at the top and/or in an enviable position, it is easier for your enemies to smear you all over with the mud of women and rape that never happened. Unfortunately, those men who turned out to be victims are not compensated after such harassment, but are made to wallow in self-defence, trauma, depression, psychological disorders, and it never-happened syndrome all along the time of the traumatic challenges.
The big question: What if in all of this, Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo is innocent and the rape accusation was a fuss or vendetta for a relationship that went sour (directly or indirectly from either/both side of the parties)? What if the act complained of was a consensual and/or mutual? Since no one could by any possible means find out their past, except by useless (in legal system) traditional means. In the positive, the best verdict that the COZA Lord may attract if charged to court is that the allegations were not proven beyond reasonable doubt and none guilty verdict would be passed accordingly. On the other hand, if civil action or criminal action for defamation and wrongful accusation is instituted against Mrs. Dakolo by the COZA Lord, The case could be as well dismissed on ground of justification; since no one is certain if it happened or not. Remember, that you have not proved your case beyond reasonable doubt is different from the fact that you have not to have proven it at all; even if you have not proven it at all, it does not translate to the fact that it never happened. If the court let the accused go on ground of chance and possibility on the premise that it may not have happened and/or the facts are doubtful due to porosity and/or disjointed facts given in the circumstance of the case, under the law, that would not automatically translate to the guilt of the accuser and/or that the accuser lied. Each case would be heard and weighed on its own merit and peculiarity.
Any law that would not equally protect all is not a law
In the light of the above analysis, what is the justice for the man in position of the COZA Lord (Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo), if he had been wrongfully accused, but the actual facts as to if he was actually accused wrongly cannot be known? He simply lives on as a bruised, damaged and broken man; who in most circumstances by the consequential effect of such allegation is robbed of his position, power, ego, authority, importance, public affection, affluence and influence for the rest of his life.
Unfortunately, under the law, crime has no statutory limitation as to time of arrest and prosecution of the accused. If it takes twenty or more than fifty years to be discovered and/or reported, except the relevant authorities decides to turn a blind eye against such crime, you can be picked up, harassed and made to answer for such criminal conduct of age at any time, at any age or season of your life. Isn’t that craziness?
I consider the above stance in criminal law jurisprudence as injustice, human crippling and human destructive.
Many who are great pastors, imams, politicians and businessmen to mention a few once committed one crime or the other in the course of their life; yet they are better persons, great employers of labour, inspiration and great teachers of men whose stories motivates and inspires a lot of lives today. Many of them assist the system to minimize crime and/or people with tendencies of self-destruct.
If God our creator forgives sins no matter how grievous, who are men to remember them at undue time and season?
Since, laws are made for men and not men for law, I implore our legislatures to revisit our criminal laws and amend same appropriately or amend by insertion of few lines in the constitution to correct all anomalies in criminal law by putting limited time of action on some categories of offences and make same justice-inclined on all fore.
I therefore, advocate that some categories of misdemeanors as stealing, fighting, exam malpractice e.t.c. and some categories of serious offences as attempted rape, indecent assault, rape and many in its categories be a benchmark as to certain numbers of months or years a victim must make report or communicate same to other persons for possible prosecution. And if such person with reporting responsibility fails and/or neglects to report the stipulated crimes within the specified period of time as provided for under the law, and such person wakes up any year or time thereafter, the complainant action should be declared statute-barred, why the accused should have the liberty to institute sustainable defamation action against the complainant. In the circumstance, Equity should also aid and protect the vigilant, not the indolent.
Accusing anyone (who could have been a target) in the circumstances is cheap and severely damaging; what is the justice for the men or women wrongfully accused of a forgotten offence alleged to have been committed so many years ago but cannot be verified? What is the justice for someone who ones made serious life mistake and now living normal and great life, only to be accused to have done something considered as crime in the past, and should now be arrested sent to prison?
That person could be YOU, your FAMILIES, FRIENDS OR BENEFACTORS. The solution that you do not become a victim to such time lagging accusation(s) is placing time embargo as to the time of report and prosecution of anyone accused of some categories of offences; thereby limiting anyone from destroying you or your loved ones after you/they are made or repentant of the past, particularly if you/they are now law abiding, great and responsible on all fore.
Since we are all humans (religious leaders inclusive) prone to ere and fall into sin at one time or the other in the course of our life journey and expeditions, let no one say Biodun Fatoyinbo had done the worse in history. No one holy pass except hypocrites.
In all honesty and fairness, I belief Mrs. Dakolo do not need a about a 20 years old revenge, after she and her husband had had great time and moment with her accused; that is if at all there was rape. Men at a point in time are weak, at the mercy of women and an endangered species in the hands of women when sex is involved.
Age of Fatoyinbo then as a young man is not the age of Fatoyinbo as at now.
I bow my heart and weep in silence on why all of human are not of same sex, emotions and feelings. I have an all-time pity for rape victims but I pity most the ‘helpless’ men and victims of women…
Richarmond O. Natha-Alade is a legal Practitioner and Principal Partner at Sun Natha-Alade & Partners (SNATHAP)
[email protected] www.snathap.com