Ojoge, Omileye, and Partners, the solicitors for Seyitan Babatayo, the young lady who alleged that Nigerian singer, Dapo Oyebanjo aka D’banj, raped her, have demanded a public apology on her behalf.
A Nigerian model scout, Benjamin Ese, alleged that Dbanj raped his friend on December 31, 2018, at Glee hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.
He said this on Instagram on June 3.
Not disclosing the friend’s name, Ese wrote that his friend had attended a party in Lagos and was sighted by Dbanj who wanted to have sex with her. He went on to reveal how she was allegedly raped by the musician.
Thereafter, Ms. Babatayo revealed herself and demanded a public apology from the ‘Kokomaster’, D’banj, through her lawyers.
The official demands contained in the letter addressed to the singer include a personal letter of apology to their client, as well as a public apology to her, to be published in two national dailies.
In an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, the lawyers said D’banj’s decision on the matter will determine how far they will take the legal battle.
“The ball is in Mr. Oyebanjo’s court. He can either decide to apologize and let the whole matter die down. He can continue to act as if he is not concerned about the situation and he can also fire back. Whichever stand he takes, our legal team is always ready to provide the necessary re-action to the action and to ensure that justice is done in the case.”
They, however, maintained that they will be settling the matter legally because they are not after “the social media or celebrity kind of justice.”
“However, we need to state that our client is not concerned about the media in the pursuit of her justice. All she wanted is to heal from her hurt and live the normal life she was living prior to the unfortunate event of December 31, 2018,” they stated.
The lawyers also reacted to social media comments that the allegation is ill-timed and aimed at pulling D’banj down.
“There was no ulterior motive in this. Our client has been going through a series of emotional trauma which is definitely damaging to her health. She was ready to move on but the flashes from the past still hunt her one way or the other,” they claimed.
They said that their client’ decided to speak out a day after Dbanj strongly condemned rape on his Instagram page.
“It was the (Dbanj’s) post of June 3, 2020, that triggered our client’s memory and she almost had a relapse from her healing process. That was the major reason why our client had to tell her story and latterly demand for an apology from the man that has caused the damaging hurt to her person,” they noted.
They however refused to disclose if they had evidence against D’banj beyond their client’s account.
“We won’t be responding to this as we believe it might jeopardise any action that will be taken on the matter. As it stands now, we know that justice will take its course. Although the wheels of justice turn slowly, it grinds exceedingly fine,” they said.
The lawyers also confirmed that D’banj is yet to issue any response to their requests.
Following the allegations that came in the wake of his 40th birthday and a multimillion naira partnership deal with a popular Nigerian bank, D’banj denied the rape allegations in a statement issued by his management.
In the statement, they said that although they have a policy of not responding to “clout chasers and cyberbullies” they have chosen to respond to the allegations.
They also said that the allegations were calculated attempts to ruin the singer’s image and disrupt the plans for his birthday and album launch.
“We strenuously deny the rape allegations and express our sincerest apologies to rape survivors and victims of this dastardly act.
“As of now, our legal team are fully involved and will address this matter with the necessary legal actions in pursuance to the full extent of the law to ensure that this malicious act of blackmail and character defamation does not occur again,” their statement partly read.
Say No To Rape
Since the death of 22-year-old Uwa Omozuwa, an undergraduate who was allegedly raped and attacked inside a church premise, the #justiceforuwa hashtag has trended for days.
Not only are Nigerians on Twitter taking a stand against rape, but they are also urging victims of rape to speak out.
The entertainment industry is not left out of the campaign as celebrities have been called out and accused of varying degrees of sexual assault.
In the music industry, singer Tobechukwu Okoh aka Peruzzi has been accused of rape on two occasions. Other celebrities that have been accused include reality TV star, Uti Nwachukwu, and Nollywood film directors, Victor Okpala and Lancelot Imasuen.