This story is developing and will be updated as further details are made known.
In the past few weeks, there’s been a reckoning for perpetrators of sexual assault and rape in Nigeria, following the demands for justice for Uwa, Jennifer, Farashina, Barakat and many more young women and girls who were raped, some of whom were also murdered. This long overdue conversation and outrage has created a domino effect of survivors coming forward to share their experiences. One of such cases has caught the attention of many across the nation.
On the 3rd of June, a young lady by the name of Seyitan Babatayo spoke out about the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of musician, D’Banj. She recounted her experience on twitter, sharing the details of the night following her invitation by D’Banj’s former manager to an all white party at Eko Atlantic in December 2018.
She shared that he found his way into her hotel room after being given an extra key card by the staff then proceeded to sexually assault and rape her, also stating that he never apologised and requested that he finally do so.
D’Banj did not address the allegations until the 16th of June, when he released a statement denying them.
“I would like to state that these accusations are false and ludicrous and have been handed over to my legal team.”
He also shared a legal document addressed to Seyitan’s lawyer(s), in which his legal team, led by Mike Ozekhome, further denied these allegations on his behalf, demanded that Seyitan retract her statements and offer a public apology to the musician. They also requested payment for damages in the sum of N100m to be paid within 48 hours, stating that legal action would be taken against her if she failed to co-operate.
ARREST AND COERCION:
On the 17th of June, it was reported by journalist and advocate, Kiki Mordi that Seyitan had been arrested by the police and detained at a police station. Her lawyer, Olamide Omileye, shared that she was forced to delete the tweets detailing her abuse by D’Banj, while in police custody.
He also stated that she was forced to release statements on her twitter account denying that she had been arrested, and expressing that she was done with all the “back and forth drama” and ready to put everything behind her.
RELEASE AND REACTIONS:
On the same day, hours later, Ayodeji Osowobi, founder of the Stand To End Rape Initiative, shared on twitter that Seyitan had been released.
There has been widespread outrage, with many believing that D’Banj and his team have wielded their power to oppress Seyitan, have her arrested and force her into recanting her allegations. People across the country have rallied around to express their contempt for D’Banj and his egregious actions.
Yesterday, on the 18th, Ayodeji took to twitter in the early hours of the afternoon to assure the public that Seyitan was fine and taking the time to recover after spending a night in a police cell.
A group of women including Ayodeji Osowobi, Kiki Mordi, Damilola Marcus and the founders of Wine & Whine NG Damilola Odufuwa and Odunayo Eweniyi, kickstarted a fund to cover Seyitan’s legal fees and so far, about N1.6m has been raised from donations and remitted to the Stand To End Rape Initiative, as reported by Wine & Whine NG via twitter.
PROBE INTO THE CASE BY THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL:
Earlier this morning, it was reported that Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, has ordered a probe into the rape allegations against D’Banj. A letter was addressed to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in response to an earlier petition made to the Inspector-General by one of Seyitan’s lawyers, Tommy Ojoge-Daniel. (Source: punchng.com)
SEYITAN BABATAYO RELEASES A PRESS STATEMENT
On Wednesday the 24th of June, Seyitan released a press statement via Wine & Whine NG relaying her personal experience from the day she spoke out about her sexual abuse by D’Banj on the 3rd of June up until the 22nd of June 2020 when she “formally made a criminal complaint of rape by… D’Banj.”
She also shared in the statement that the former Attorney General of Ogun State, Mrs Akeredolu (SAN) has offered legal support to her for the case and also that the Attorney General of Lagos state “wrote to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to investigate the matter” and the Inspector General of Police instructed for the case to be investigated immediately.