Gbeleyi Abayomi

The dust is yet to settle on the rape allegation leveled against Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) pastor biodun fatoyinbo as Adunni Abimbola Adelakun, a PUNCH columnist claimed assault by COZA members, this she revealed in her Thursday column titled ; ‘My Adventure In COZA’
However, Adunni claimed her decision to attend the church was “purely an academic one” as she is working on Pentecostalism and Pentecostal culture in her thesis.

The author of ‘Under The Brown Rusted Roofs’ said her experience became something close to an ordeal when, as it is customary in a typical Nigerian church, first-timers were asked to signal. She said after signalling to be a first-timer she was asked to “wait”.

She said, “As the service was rounding off, a man approached me and asked if it was my first time in the church. I answered in the affirmative. He asked me to follow him outside the church to meet those who talked to first-timers. But he took me to a tent outside the gate where some others were sitting and asked me to wait. There was no explanation than an unsatisfactory command to “wait”.

According to the Punch columnist the wait, however, became almost eternal as the man who initially attended to her was nowhere to be found again.
Adunni said after waiting for some time and the man who asked her to wait did not surface she decided to leave. But she said she was prevented from leaving by two women wearing Peace Corps uniform.

Abimbola said, “When I tried to leave again, the man told two women wearing Peace Corps uniform to bar me. They did, took my phone, and even sprained my left thumb in the process.”
The Punch columnist said the church would later accuse her of spying on its activities and the case was taken to a police station.

She said, “At the station, we were asked to state our sides of the case. On their part, the COZA people said that since the allegations against their pastor broke, they have dealt with a “mixed multitude” who come to their church to get news.

Now, they said, they would like to make a scapegoat of someone by taking the case to court. My sister asked the policeman on duty what charges were possible in the circumstances, and he told me ‘criminal trespass’. My sister reminded the policeman that there was no trespass in going to church, and he responded that going for other purposes than worship could qualify. She told him the charges would not stick. By then, the COZA team had stepped out to confer amongst themselves. They returned and said if I clarified for the public that they did not arrest me, then the issue could be considered resolved.”

Adunni’s purported arrest at COZA went viral on Sunday when her friends and loved ones took to social media to call attention to her case.
The columnist also thanked those who stood by her.

She said, “In closing, and here is the bigger motive of this article: I want to say ‘thank you’ to every single person who stood up for me on Sunday. It was a proud moment for me that people rallied on my behalf to protect me from intimidation and harassment. Please know that words are not enough to describe how much I appreciate everything. I am grateful to everyone who stood by me through that adventure.”

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