The Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers and Advocates, COPA, has called for the arrest of a popular Nigerian artiste Mr. Oladapo Oyebanjo, aka D’Banj, following an allegation of rape against him by Miss Seyitan Babatayo.
It was reported by CANDIID ONLINE that Seyitan Babatayo had accused the singer of sexual assault, which, according to her, happened in 2018.
She said it happened at an all-white party where D’Banj allegedly offered her some money to spend the night, which she rejected, until he surprisingly showed up in her hotel room around 2 in the midnight.
“D’Banj drove all the way from Eko hotel where he was lodged and came down to glee hotel in Victoria Island at midnight 2.40 am and collected the spare key from the receptionist,”
The rape experience, she said, had caused her some trauma since the incident happened.
D’banj, however, on Monday maintained that he is innocent until proven guilty.
“Innocent until proven guilty…., Stop social media trial #SAY no to rape and human rights violation,” he captioned an Instagram video of himself singing and dancing.
Following the development, the ‘Koko Master’ l denied the allegation for the umpteenth time, describing it as “lie from the pit of hell” and slammed Seyitan with an N100 million defamation suit demanding an apology in four national dailies or risk legal action.
However, there were varying reports on social media that Seyitan was allegedly arrested and threatened by Dbanj’s camp.
Meanwhile, Seyitan had earlier released a statement on Twitter, confirming that she was indeed unlawfully detained by the police and D’banj and coerced into withdrawing her allegation.
She was charged with no offence, upon her release, after signing a gag order by the police and D’banj team.
Since then, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has ordered an investigation.
This did not go down well with some Nigerians who accused Dbanj of obstructing justice and intimidation through the social media and equally prompted the Inspector general of Police l Mohammed Adamu, to order an investigation into the case.
Reacting, Mr. Patrick Odey, Director, Human Rights and Gender, at COPA in a statement urged the Nigeria Police to allay the fears of ordinary Nigerians in its handling of rape matters in the country.
According to him, the coalition wondered why Seyintan Babatayo (the victim) should be detained instead of D’Banj, the accused.
He also commended the timely intervention of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, noting that the time had come for every Nigerian to rise up to the challenge and bring rapists to justice.
“We welcome the forthright and timely intervention of the Inspector General of Police, who has since ordered a comprehensive investigation into this matter.
“This directive is timely given the individuals involved and the peculiarity of the issues therein, as well as the ugly times we live in as a nation where incidences of rape and other gender-based crimes are rampant.
“The intervention of the IGP is satisfying and assuages rising public fear before now that the instrumentality of the Nigeria Police Force had been hijacked by the bourgeoisie class of the Nigerian polity to protect the musician.
“Speculations of manipulation and partiality in the investigative process, especially given the status of the alleged offender in comparison to the victim, but the directive of the IGP is, to say the least, reassuring and highly welcomed,” he said.
Odey further stated that the delay in inviting the alleged offender for the purpose of interrogation in pursuance of the investigation ordered by the Inspector General leaves much to be desired as regards the public perception of the process.
He noted no one should enjoy special treatment over any other, especially within the sector of crime detection and justice delivery in the country.
“Justice must not only be done but must also be manifestly seen to be done, and for us at COPA, the manifest path of justice extends to the conduct of investigations and the treatment of the parties.
“It will be a fair play if there will be a transparent and visible investigation to ensure that a proper, dispassionate and comprehensive investigation into the allegations was conducted without considering the personality involved,” he added.