Amidst the rape scandal rocking the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), a member of the church’s board, Obafemi Banigbe, has resigned.
Mr Banigbe, a telecom professional, tendered his resignation on July 19 in a letter addressed to the Senior Pastor of the church, Biodun Fatoyinbo.
He stated that he was no longer interested in being a member of COZA board of trustees.
“I hereby tender my resignation letter as a registered member of the board of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), with immediate effect for personal reason,” Mr Banigbe wrote in the letter obtained by PREMIUM TIMES Friday.
Although he cited personal reasons, some persons said his move might not be unconnected to the recent sex scandal which has rocked COZA leadership.
His letter partly read “As you are aware, I have been working and living outside Nigeria since January 2008 and only made short trips to Nigeria from time to time.
“And ever since I was approached to be a member of the board of trustees, I have not and the opportunity to function as a trustee member including being unable to participate in any decision making or governance meetings focused on matters patterning to the overall well being of the ministry.
It is in view of these, and due to other personal commitments, that I thought to resign from the board.”
Reliable sources close to Mr Banigbe confirmed that he did write the resignation letter but that it was not intended for public circulation.
They also said the reasons stated in the letter are also valid.
Mr Bamigbe resigned almost three weeks after the embattled pastor announced that he would be “taking a leave of absence from the pulpit of the church.”
At the time, Mr Fatoyinbo said he took the decision after consulting with several spiritual leaders around the world and the leadership of COZA.
The controversial pastor has held Nigerian headlines since June when the interview of one of his alleged victims, Busola, wife of popular singer, Timi Dakolo was made public.
Mrs Dakolo revealed her ordeal in a YouTube interview with Chude Jideonwo published on June 28 on the channel, YNaija.
She alleged that the clergyman raped her in Ilorin, Kwara State when she was 16.
Many Nigerians have asked that the police and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) investigate the case.
Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and some public figures have also called for a thorough investigation.
The preacher denied the allegations, saying in an official church statement that he had never raped a woman “even as an unbeliever.”
He threatened a lawsuit against Mrs Dakolo and others he accused of defaming his character. He said many of the sexual misconduct claims he had faced over the years had come from scorned women within his ministry.
Meanwhile, Mr Fatoyinbo is being expected to preach the sermon on Sunday as he is been rumoured to return to the pulpit on the same day.
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