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How Nigerian Women Rescued D’banj’s Accuser Seyitan From Oppression and Intimidation

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We are now more aware of the prevalent rape culture existing in Nigeria. We’ve come from a place where women couldn’t even speak about their abuse, to slowly creating an environment for women to air their grievances and seek out justice.

Seyitan Babatayo

Sadly, we are not completely there yet.

There is still a lot of stigma and blame placed on the victims without commensurate burden on the alleged perpetrators of such dastardly acts. Thankfully, alongside an awakening to the existing rape culture, there is now a welcome increase in the number of bold, strong women who are stepping forward and making it their mission to help victims of sexual assault.

Over the past two weeks, we have been made witness to the rape allegation case between Seyitan Babatayo, 23, and Oladapo Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’banj, 40.

On June 3, Seyitan took to social media to level allegations against D’banj: alleging that on December 30, 2018, he gained access into her room at Glee Hotel and subsequently raped her.

Her allegations were met with mixed reactions as many immediately condemned her and called her a liar, while others took to her defence. Initially, Dbanj did not speak on the issue. But on June 15, a couple of days after his 40th birthday, he finally broke the silence. He retained the services of respected Nigerian lawyer, Mike Ozhekome, SAN. What did he want? Withdrawal of the allegations, an apology, and N100m in damages. He gave his accuser 48 hours to comply.

Dbanj rape allegations

Nigerians applauded his response as one is ‘innocent until proven guilty’. They felt the truth would eventually come out, and many tilted in support of him. That is, until the next day when friends of Seyitan raised an alarm on social media that the style influencer had been arrested and had not been heard from for hours. It was also said that she was not granted access to her family or her lawyers. Subsequently, all Seyitan’s tweets disappeared from her Twitter account, leaving only a post expressing her need to move on, and hours later, a tweet promoting D’Banj’s new music.

Immediately women like investigative journalist Kiki Mordi, the founder of Stand To End Rape Initiative (STER) Ayodeji Osowobi, and many other activists worked tirelessly to locate her. According to Seyitan in her statement, she was taken to IGP IRT office in Harold Shodipo, Ikeja and detained in a cell.

Kiki Mordi

“I spent almost 48 hours at the Police station, without being charged for a single crime. When I requested to know the reason for the detention, the Police refused to answer, but they continued to treat me like a criminal… I was locked up in a cell with criminals who had broken the law. I had never stolen or committed a crime in my life, yet there I was with others who had broken the law. What was my offence? My own offence was daring to speak up.”

After signing a gag order under duress to only post social media content approved by D’banj’s team, she was taken to a location by which was not made public. According to her, “the women tracked me to the location where I was being held by D’banj and his team, using satellite mapping. I was immediately removed from the environment and taken to a safe place where I was provided with immediate support.”

Damilola Odufuwa, Co-Founder of Wine and Whine Nigeria, together with Odunayo Eweniyi, the Co-Founder of (Piggyvest) and many internet users were able to raise about 1.6m Naira to contribute to Seyitan’s legal defence and support her ongoing needs.

These funds have so far been handed over to Stand To End Rape Initiative (STER), who are providing therapy and mental healthcare for her, while also ensuring her physical safety to ensure that neither D’banj’s team nor the Police can reach her again.

Another woman who stepped up to help is Mrs Akeredolu (SAN), a former Attorney General of Ogun State, who according to Seyitan, will be providing legal support on the matter.

The moves made by these women, and many others to ensure the safety of Seyitan, shows that women have always been a strong support system for each other while helping to fight against the oppression of women in society.

It is great to see women openly supporting and helping one another, breaking the culture of silence that would normally have been prevalent in the past, in cases like this. Hopefully, it is a sign of the future to come, where women will have a larger say in society, and also be able to change certain norms and mindsets that seek to debase and silence women.

The post How Nigerian Women Rescued D’banj’s Accuser Seyitan From Oppression and Intimidation appeared first on Nigerian Entertainment Today.


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