Rights group Amnesty International yesterday condemned the police invasion of singer Timi Dakolo’s Lagos over his wife, Busola’s rape allegation against Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) founder Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
Policemen from the Special Tactical Squad (STS) under the office of the Inspector General of Police (IG) Mohammed Adamu has on Saturday evening stormed the Dakolo’s home in a white bus allegedly to serve them an invitation letter.
The letter which invited the couple to an interview in Abuja today, to answer for allegations of criminal conspiracy, falsehood, mischief and threat to life, was said to have followed a petition by Fatoyinbo whom Mrs. Dakolo’s alleged of raping her when she was a teenager.
Although the cops had failed in their alleged attempt to whisk the Dakolos to Abuja, public outcry greeted the presence at the celebrity couple’s home with many Nigerians wondering what had become of the case filed by the woman at the Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID) Alagbon in June.
Reacting to the incident on their official Twitter handle, Amnesty International, Nigeria, sais intimidating victims of sexual abuse using the police was a new low in the country’s spate of impunity.
“Attempts to intimidate and harass Timi and Busola Dakolo by the Nigeria Police shows a disturbing pattern of how authorities respond to allegations of sexual abuse. In February, 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 and 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 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.
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“In the face of rising sexual abuse of women and 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?
“This pattern of Nigeria Police dispatching anti-robbery squads to pick up victims of sexual abuse who refused to be silent is unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, a statement released by police spokesman Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner (DCP) at 11:50pm on Saturday confirmed that both Busola and Timi Dakolo were being invited, assuring Nigerians of the service’s commitment to justice.
Mba said: “The Nigeria Police Force is confirming that its operatives today, 20th July, 2019 served official Invitation Letters on Bisola and Timi Dakolo. The invitation is sequel to an on-going police investigation touching on the wider and highly publicised case involving Bisola 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 Mohammed Adamu 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.”
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