Seyitan Babatayo, the woman who accused popular Nigerian entertainer, Dapo Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’banj, of raping her, has reached a ‘non-monetary’ agreement, her handlers told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday.
Stand To End Rape (STER), a non-profit organization, which has been in charge of Ms Babatayo’s welfare since the rape allegations were made public on June 15, gave the update in a press statement made available to this newspaper.
The statement was co-signed by STER and 14 other groups and individuals involved in the case.
They include the Nigeria Feminist Forum, Whine and Wine NG, NoMore234NG, 9jafeminista, Alliances for Africa, Women’s Crisis Centre and Education as a Vaccine. Others are Azeenarh Mohammed, Kiki Mordi, Chioma Agwuegbo, Ayodele Olofintuade, Lesley Agams, Iheoma Obibi, and Buky William.
STER said as a social justice organisation and women advocates, out-of-court settlements go against its policy.
The statement partly read, “Such settlements, in our experience, often involve an asymmetry of power between the accused and the victim.
“More importantly, while private settlements are usual in civil disputes, they are, however, not applicable to criminal cases, particularly where a felony has been alleged to have been committed, only the State has the authority to discontinue a criminal investigation and prosecution.
Section 97 of The Criminal Code of Lagos State is clear and states that:
“(i) Any person who conspires with another to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course.
According to STER, Ms Babatayo informed them on July 13, that a private non-monetary agreement was reached with D’banj’s team. We, therefore, present this statement as the full account of our stewardship on this matter.
Babatayo’s Lawyers speak
In their response, Ms Babatayo’s legal representative, Olamide Omileye of Ojoge, Omileye, and partners told this newspaper on Friday that the only agreement reached was that “both parties are going to stand down on media trials and allow the law to take its course.”
They said both parties have agreed to desist from making any post or leaking any information to the public and allow the police to carry out their investigation.
“The police are still doing their investigation. Last week, Seyitan was in Abuja, D’banj was also in Abuja. They met the ACP and the woman did her part of the investigation.
“From our side, everything we have we’ve given to them and they’ve verified the information. Dbanj’s ex-manager, Franklin Amudo, didn’t come to the police station last Friday because of financial constraints. He couldn’t come to Abuja. I think that is the only thing delaying the investigations for now,” they said.
A Nigerian model scout, Benjamin Ese, alleged that D’banj raped his friend on December 31, 2018, at Glee Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.
After the accusation was made on June 3, the lady came out to reveal herself and give her account of her alleged encounter with D’banj.
She, thereafter, demanded a public apology from the entertainer through her lawyers.
On June 15, D’banj, through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, threatened to sue Ms Babatayo and demanded N100 million as compensation for falsely accusing him of rape.
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In the letter signed by Mr Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria, and addressed to Ms Babatayo’s lawyers, the singer demanded that his accuser pays the sum within 48 hours or risk legal action.
In the same letter, the singer also demanded that a letter of apology and retraction of her statements be written by his accuser and published in four national dailies.
On Tuesday, June 23, Ms Babatayo released a statement through Stand To End Rape, where she narrated her ordeal since she went public with her accusation.
She also recounted her ordeal in the hands of police when she was reportedly arrested and detained on June 16 based on a complaint by D’banj.
On Sunday, July 5, D’banj’s ex-manager, Franklin Amudo, confirmed in a statement that he invited Ms Babatayo to the all-white party and gave her the key card to his hotel room at Glee hotel in Victoria Island as he had to rush back home because of an early morning flight to Accra the next day.
He also confirmed that Ms Babatayo called him to report the alleged rape to him but he could not confirm with D’banj because his wife was also on the trip with them.
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