Just about one month after taking leave of absence, senior pastor of the Common Wealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo Sunday returned to the pulpit.
Fatoyinbo on July 1 announced his leave of absence from pulpit duties after he was accused of rape by Busola Dakolo, a celebrity photographer and wife of singer Timi Dakolo.
Bukola alleged that Fatoyinbo raped her twice in a week when she was still a teenager.
The allegations prompted hundreds of protesters to march on COZA premises in Lagos and Abuja, demanding the resignation and prosecution of the pastor.
An obviously hired crowd also held a pro-Fatoyinbo march in Abuja. A protester told newsmen that he was given N10, 000 to stomp for the pastor.
Fatoyinbo denied ever raping Busola or any other person. His wife, Modele, also spoke in his defence.
“Not even as an unbeliever will my husband rape someone,” Mrs Fatoyinbo said during a Sunday service in June.
Fatoyinbo issued a statement saying he was taking “a leave of absence from the pulpit” to “submit to the concerns of (his) spiritual mentors”, and that he did not understand all that was happening.
Nicknamed “Gucci Pastor” for his expensive taste in clothes and cars, Fatoyinbo returned to the pulpit on Sunday to address his congregation.
The senior pastor delivered a sermon titled, Sudden victories, in a filled church auditorium.
He focused his sermon on the books of 1st Timothy 6:12; Mark 4:35-37 and 1st Corinthians 10:13.
Fatoyinbo said Christians would always face persecution, but God would ensure that they are victorious.
“As a Christian, you must face opposition,” Fatoyinbo said. “If God, who is holy and faithful has enemies, you are sure going to have.”
The pastor and Busola are both being probed by the Nigeria Police Force for the allegations.