… Amnesty International Reacts
The Nigerian police have confirmed the invitation of Timi Dakolo, a popular musician, and his wife, Busola Dakolo.
They were invited in connection with the rape allegations made by Mrs Dakolo against a senior pastor at Commonwealth Zion Assembly (COZA), BIodun Fatoyinbo, the police said.
Mrs Dakolo alleged that the clergyman raped her in Ilorin, Kwara State, when she was 16.
Many Nigerians have asked that the police and religious organisations like Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) should investigate the case.
The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and some public figures have also called for a thorough investigation.
On Saturday, social media was again abuzz when Timi Dakolo posted the letter of invitation from the police and alleged that some officers stormed his residence in Lekki, Lagos State.
The police in a statement confirmed the invitation on is official Twitter handle.
Police operatives were said to have served invitation letters on the couple.
“The invitation is sequel to an on-going police investigation touching on the wider and highly publicized case involving Busola Dakolo, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo and others.
“It is important however to note that a Police Invitation Letter is not synonymous with a Warrant of Arrest, and must not be construed to be one. Rather, it is a polite investigative tool used in eliciting information voluntarily from parties to aid police investigations.”
“Members of the public should see it as a legitimate act in line with the constitutional mandate of the police, which among other things include the investigation of all complaints brought before it.”
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP MA Adamu NPM, mni has appealed for calm, and is reassuring Nigerians that the Police Force under his watch will remain professional, impartial and unreservedly committed to the pursuit of justice in this case and all other cases before it,” the poilce wrote.
Dakolo had on Saturday questioned the motive and actions of the police.
The singer wrote: “Our lawyers had told us to get ready for this letter. We have long been ready for your intimidation and dirtiness. For your Ilorin methods and underhand tactics. A pastor? Bribing investigating officials to delay summons? Paying dirty bloggers to fabricate things that cover the truth, going to the IG’s people under dark to force this case to be posted to Abuja? Rubbishing the legal and criminal system?
“And sending a bus load of armed policemen and shady men lying in waiting to intimidate my wife and children today, forcing their way into my home. Is that how the real police deliver a letter? This is the best you can do?”
Meanwhile, First Lady, Aisha Buhari has warned the Inspector General of Police against intimidating Busola Dakolo and her husband, Timi over the rape allegation against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA.
Reacting to the summon on her Twitter account, Aisha called the attention of the Inspector General of Police to a story from Sahara Reporters titled: Policemen storm Busola Dakolo’s residence.
And on top she left no doubt where she stands with the array of hashtags :
“ATTENTION : INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE #SayNoToRape #JusticeForRapeVictims #SayNoToIntimidation,” she tweeted.
Reacting to the development, Amnesty International Nigeria, in series of tweets on its twitter handle said Intimidating victims of sexual abuse using by the police was a new low in Nigeria’s spate of impunity.
“Attempts to intimidate and harass Timi & Busola Dakolo by the Nigeria Police shows a disturbing pattern of how authorities respond to allegations of sexual abuse.
“In Feb. armed SARS officers arrested Maryam Awaisu of #ArewaMeToo in Kaduna and dragged her to Abuja, at the instance of a person widely accused of rape & sexual abuse.
“For too long, Nigeria’s women have been facing various kinds of sexual violence that seldom receives proper attention from the country’s law enforcement agencies. It is unacceptable that women seeking justice end up intimidated by Nigeria Police,” it said.
According to Amnesty International Nigeria, “it is unacceptable that women seeking justice for sexual abuse are subjected to arrest and intimidation, by a unit of police whose remit is armed robbery. We fear that these actions may prevent victims of sexual violence from pursuing justice.
“In the face of rising sexual abuse of women & girls across Nigeria; for how long will women be continuously subjected to intimidation and forced silence in the face of injustice? When will the injustice end?”