Lagos State Police Command on Thursday said it was not aware that its personnel arrested Seyitan Babatoye, a lady who accused Afro-pop artist Dbanj of raping her.
“There is no such arrest in my command,” spokesman to Lagos Police. I am not aware of that.”
Elkana’s response came after Nigerian Twitter went abuzz on Wednesday with claims that Dbanj ordered the arrest of one Seyitan Babatayo who accused the singer of raping her.
Babatayo was, however, reportedly released from police custody on Thursday despite the force spokesman saying it was not aware of her arrest over the rape allegation.
Seyitan’s friend Benjamin Ese in a Twitter thread in early June told the story of how Dbanj, a multiple award-winning entertainer, allegedly raped Seyitan at a hotel two years ago – in December 2018.
She said it happened at an all-white party where Dbanj allegedly offered her friend some money to spend the night which she rejected until the Oliver Twist crooner surprisingly showed up in Seyitan’s hotel room around 2:00 am at midnight.
“Dbanj drove all the way from Eko hotel where he was lodged and came down to glee hotel in Victoria island at midnight 2:40 am and collected the spare key from the receptionist,” Ese said in the thread which has since sparked an outrage.
She said Dbanj allegedly “got into my friend’s room and forcefully threatened he would walk her out of the room naked,Kept his fingers in her Vagina and repeatedly raped her.”
The rape experience, Ese said had caused Seyitan some trauma since the incident happened.
One month after Ese’s tweet, Seyitan came out publicly to present herself as the lady who was allegedly raped by Dbanj in December 2018.
Rape allegation, a ‘lie from the pit of hell’ – Dbanj
After weeks of silence, Dbanj Wednesday said Seyitan Babatayo’s claim was false.
“Today (Wednesday, June 17) is exactly 1 week after my birthday and this will be the only time I will address the recent false allegations and lies from the pit of hell,” Dbanj tweeted.
His management 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,” the management said.
The management said their legal team was fully involved and will address this matter with the necessary legal actions in pursuance to the full extent of the law.
Dbanj through his lawyers, Mike Ozekhome Chambers, demanded that Babatayo pays the sum of N100m within 48 hours or risk legal action.
He also demanded that she write a letter of apology and retract her statements which would be published in four national dailies.
Deleted tweets and more controversies
The matter took another turn on Wednesday when Babatayo was reportedly arrested by the police from Sodipo station. Her lawyer, Olamide Omileye of Ojoge, Omileye, and Partners, told Premium Times that she was forced to delete her tweets on the rape allegations while in police custody.
But Babatayo tweeted that she and her mother were never arrested by the police.
“I’m moving on and leaving everything behind me,” she said in one of the tweets she posted to her handle on Wednesday evening.
Those tweets, Omileye said, were posted under duress.
Like Omileye, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi of Stand to End Rape said Babatayo was arrested by the police. Osowobi said Babatayo spent the night in a police cell.
In another twist, a tweet, seemingly promoting a yet-to-be-released song by Dbanj, was posted to Babatayo’s Twitter handle on Thursday. A picture of the artist with a cryptic message was also posted by the handle.
“To be very honest this was never our intention, we love you guys, let’s leave our life stress free #StressByDbanj,” the message reads, followed by a dove and blue heart emojis.
Nigerian law and rape
Under the Criminal Code of Nigeria (Section 357 & 358), rape is defined as “having unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false act, or, in case of a married woman, be personating her husband.” This offence is punishable by imprisonment for years and life.
Under the Penal Code of Nigeria (Section 282), “A man is said to commit rape who has sexual intercourse with a woman in any of the following circumstance: against her will; without her consent; with her consent, when the consent is obtained by putting her in fear of death or of hurt.”
Under the Criminal Laws of Lagos State (Section 258) “Any man who has unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman or girl without her consent, is guilty of the offence of rape.”
Under the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (Section 1) “A person commits the offence of rape if he or she intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his/her body or anything else without consent, or the consent is obtained by force.”