News reports that Chidinma Okeke, the former Miss Anambra whose lewd videos recently went viral on the internet, had been declared missing by her family, are “very far from the truth”, her father has said.
Jerry Okeke, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES by phone Saturday evening, said his daughter was fine.
“My daughter is not missing and at no time did I declare her missing,” Mr. Okeke told this newspaper.
Mr. Okeke said after the scandal sent shockwaves across the country, the family immediately moved to save Miss Okeke, 20, from committing suicide.
Mr. Okeke said he handed over his “little girl” to another family member because he had to travel to the family’s ancestral home for another engagement.
He denied news report quoting him as declaring his daughter missing in the aftermath of the racy video.
“I have been trying to make contact with one of The Sun newspapers that published the story because they want to sell (market) and I will give them a seven-day notice to correct it,” Mr. Okeke said.
The Sun says it stands by its story.
Bruce Malogo, the editor of Saturday Sun which published the story, told PREMIUM TIMES the headline was appropriate for the direct quotes from Mr. Okeke, which he said were on the record.
“As it stands now, my daughter is still a small girl. I don’t know whether she is still alive or dead. But all I know is that God will prove Himself worthy to fight His children’s battle. I don’t have much to say for now,” the paper quoted Mr. Okeke as saying.
The quotes were published under the headline: “Aftermath of sex video scandal: Family declares Beauty queen missing.”
“In interpretative journalism, we’re not wrong with our headline,” Mr. Malogo said. “If he told us that he couldn’t find his daughter and we say he declared her missing, we’re not wrong.”
Mr. Okeke, however, maintained his ground.
“I did not tell press man that called me from The Sun that my daughter is missing or that I couldn’t find her,” Mr. Okeke reaffirmed to PREMIUM TIMES.
Specifically, Mr. Okeke said he told The Sun reporter that the family was holding on to God for a breakthrough in the wake of the scandal.
Chidinma Okeke’s video circulated across the Nigerian blogosphere nearly a month ago, and the controversy boiled over when the organisers of the beauty pageant stripped her of her crown.
The amateur footage appears to show Miss Okeke engaging in a sexual act with another woman.
Mr. Okeke expressed confidence in the ability of the police to do a thorough job in unraveling the scandal, even though he said he suspected foul play — including the possibility of her daughter being drugged prior to the act.
“I will allow them (police) to do that (their job), but I know my daughter was drugged by some people who took advantage of her as a young woman.”
The Commissioner of Police, Sam Okaula, recently denied knowledge of the case.
In the middle of it all, some individuals saw a bright spot for Miss Okeke.
The organisers of Miss Diva Awards said they had a unique reason for honouring the embattled ex-beauty queen this year.
“Chidinma didn’t have to meet any criteria to receive this award. It was solely the decision of the brand to honour her,” Chijioke Awugosi, project coordinator, said.
“We are aware of the controversy that will come with it. But we hope that in due time, every well-meaning and reasonable individual will see the reasons behind the award.”
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