Ms Seyitan Babatayo and Dbanj are said to have reached a private non-monetary agreement on the alleged rape case levelled against the popular entertainer. This latest development was made known to the public by Stand To End Rape Initiatives (STER).
STER who are the representatives of Ms Seyitan Babatayo, in a press statement on Friday 24th July 2020, confirmed that Ms Seyitan Babatayo had Monday 13th of July 2020, informed them that she has reached a private non-monetary agreement with Dbanj’s team, despite the ongoing criminal investigation by the Nigerian Police.
STER in their press release on Friday, narrated how they got involved in the whole rape saga involving Ms Seyitan Babatayo and Dbanj, and how the victim finally reached a private non-monetary agreement.
This private non-monetary agreement was said to have been reached after Dbanj’s team allegedly contacted Ms Seyitan Babatayo for a meeting.
STER themselves also alleged that they turned down a separate meeting called by one Mr Segun Awosanya (@segalink).
Taking to their official social media on Friday, STEP released a long statement that reads:
“While awaiting the outcome of the Police Investigation, reports reached us that a Mr Segun Awosanya (@segalink) had reached out to Ms Babatayo to attend a meeting with the accused at an address which he (Mr Awosanya) had sent to her.
We learnt that the meeting was in view of negotiating a private settlement of the criminal case. This meeting was also confirmed by Ms Babatayo’s legal counsel who was scheduled to be in attendance.
STER was also invited to the same meeting, but we declined.
As a social Justice organisation and women advocates, out of cour settlement goes against STER’s policy. Such settlements in our experience, others involve an asymmetry of power between the accused and the victims.
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.
An attempt by any private individual(s) to circumvent the authority of the State in a criminal investigation may amount to a conspiracy and attempt to pervert justice.
Section 97 of the Criminal Code of Lagos State is clear and states that: (1) Any person who conspires with another to obstruct, prevent pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years’
In addition, section 410 states that: ” Any person who conspires with another to commit any offence in the state which is not a felony, or to do any act outside the state which if done in the state would be an offence but not a felony. and which is an offence under the laws in force in the place where it is proposed to be done, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
On the 13th of July 2020, Ms Seiytan Babatayo informed STER 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.
STER would like to use this opportunity to appreciate civil society partners and women advocates who stood resolute in their support for Ms Seyitan Babatayo inspite of the unwarranted targeted abuse and harassment both online and offline.
STER is also grateful to the Attorney General of Lagos State who met with MsSeyitan Bababtayo in the course of our intervention. We also acknowledge the commitment of the Governor of Lagos, His excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu towards ensuring a Lagos state with zero tolerance to sexual and gender-based violence.
STER appreciate the support of Mrs Akeredolu SAN, who offered her legal counsel and advice on this matter.
The work to eradicate sexual and domestic violence from our society would be impossible without the committed support and collaboration of the Police.
We, therefore, would also use this opportunity to remind the Nigerian Police as part of the legal apparatus of Nigeria, to be steadfast in their efforts to ensure justice for all survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, irrespective of the profile of the accused.
We thank the Nigerian public for continuing to amplify the voices of survivors of sexual and Gender-based violence (SGBV) by condemning and denouncing this epidemic that is plaguing our society. All accounts of the expenditure on the one million and six hundred thousand naira raised by well-meaning Nigerians have been accounted for with Whine and Wine NG, and with the donors themselves.
We continue to encourage all survivors of sexual violence in Nigeria to speak their truth, and not be deterred. Your voice is important. We see you, we hear you. You are not alone and we are here to support you
Stand To End Repa Initiatives (STER),” the statement said.
Recall we reported here first that Ms Seyitan Babatayo had released a statement narrating her rape incident where she released the following statement accusing Dbanj of rape and kidnapping. She had said this then:
“Yesterday, Monday the 22 June 2020, I, Ms Seyitan Babatayo formerly made a criminal complaint of rape by Mr Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo popularly known as D’banj at the Gender Desk of the Nigerian Police force Command headquarters, Ikeja Lagos.
This comes after trying unsuccessfully in the past to give a detailed account of my experience at Bar Beach Police station, Victoria Island on the 6th June 2020. That attempt was thwarted by an officer of the law at the said police barracks,” she started her statement.
“Unfortunately, my experience is not an exception, but rather the norm where survivors of rape and sexual violence or their families who attempt o report such incidents are often met with frustrating processes and also sometimes threatened by the alleged perpetrator with sufficient backing from the police and a good number of members of the society. Sometimes even their own family members.
Luckily for me, I have the enormous and unwavering support of my family, especially my mother. Her strength and support are one of the few things that have kept me going.
However, I must admit it has been an exasperating couple of weeks for me, from 3rd June 2030 when I first came forward to with my story and speak my truth on twitter I cannot say I was surprised by the public backlash and media trial ensued. But I can certainly say the lack of surprise did not lessen the subsequent pain or hurt that I felt.
My story is one I have carried around for almost 2-years but in the words of Timi Dakolo, “when you finally decide, it will amaze you where the needed strength will come from”.
On 16th June 2020, almost two weeks after going public with my story, I was arrested by four armed police officers, who under the pretence of a delivery agent, gained entry into my home.
I was then taken to IGP IRT office in Harold Shodipo, Ikeja and detained in a cell like a criminal.
My mum was not arrested, contrary to widespread speculations. My mum remained supportive and engaged all her efforts like any other mother, alongside various other interventions to secure my release.
In the cell, I had the right to remain silent, limited access to a lawyer, yet still oblivious to the crime I was being detained for. I spent 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.
My stance from the beginning was never for financial gain.
I was violated by D’banj, that unwarranted and violent experience has never left me, it has stayed with me for a very long time. I demanded an apology then and still demand it now.
I finally gathered the strength to demand it in a louder tone on 7th June 2020. I approached a law firm in Abuja who agreed to represent me. With the loving support of my family, we began on the road to justice.
Strength! strength is a funny feeling, here today, gone tomorrow. The first day i voiced out my story, I understood the true meaning of community.
In the midst of the media trial I endured, many survivors like myself showed up for me. A handful of friends some of them i met online were my source of strength some days, and on the other days, like the night of 16th June, I would feel a paralyzing feeling of loneliness.
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 only offence was daring to speak up.
Again, none of this is unique to me. I am not the only woman who has ended up in a police cell for telling her story.
If there is anything unique about my case, it is that the event played out in the public domain, and in real-time. Much of which i had no knowledge of as I was cut off from any form of communication with the outside world.
Ms Seyitan then added: “Due to the distortion of facts in media, I would like to clarify the timeline of events for the record:
“30th December 2018, D’Banj gained access into my hotel room at past midnight while i was asleep. He violated and raped me.
3rd June 2020: Following an online post by D’banj about saying no to rape, I called him out on his hypocrisy, by giving a detailed account of how he raped me in 2018.
5th June 2020 I publicly shared a document from my lawyer regarding the situation.
6th June 2020, I visited the police e station to make a former report but was not attended to.
15th June 2020, D’Banj through his legal representative published a document in response to lawyer’s document, demanding N100m in damages.
16th June 2020, A friend reached out to journalism who had been in contact with me earlier to raise the alarm that neither they nor my lawyers could reach me. My mum was also contracted to inform her of the ongoing situation.
17th June 2020: With various efforts, i was released from custody after being made to sign a gag order by the Police and D’Banj’s team and could only post on social media what had been approved by D’Banj’s team. I spent the night in a location of D’Banj’s team choosing. Which was not made known to the public.
18th June 2020, I was isolated from my family coerced, pressured and intimidated in person by D’Banj and his team to retract all statements and to announce that my testimony was a publicity stunt.
Thanks, to friends, thanks to the Executive Director of Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER) and other activists who swung into action, and 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.
Since 18th June 2020, D’Banj through his team has continued to harass me with incessant call and boasting that he (D’Banj) can buy off anyone within the justice system in Lagos.
I would like to thank well-meaning Nigerians who raised alarm on social media of my illegal detention and spoke out strongly against the blatant abuse of power.
I understand that intent user coordinated by the wine and whine team also raised about 1.6m naira to contribute to my legal defence and support my ongoing needs. These funds have so far been handed over to stand End Rape Initiative (STER) who have and still continue to provide therapy and mental healthcare for me, while also ensuring my physical safety to ensure neither D’banj nor the Police can continue to harass or intimidate me.
Again, I cannot thank everyone enough. May God continue to stand for you.
I want to thank Mrs Akerefolu (SAN), former Attorney General of Ogun State, who has put her full weight behind me and will be providing legal support on the matter.
I am grateful to the Attorney General of Lagos State who wrote to the Lagos state Commissioner of Police to investigate the matter and the IGP for instructing that the matter be investigated immediately.
Sirs, permit me to take this opportunity to assure you of my full cooperation, should I be required during the investigation.
I would like to urge every well-meaning individual and organisation to please join voices with me to plead that the Attorney General of Lagos State over this case which is firmly within his office and to pursue this case to the full extent of the law i have confidence that his office will not be influenced by D’Banj’s many friends.
What I experienced should not happen to any girl or woman in Nigeria. No one should be raped. And no one should have to be subjected to the violent abuse which happened to me in a hotel room that door was looked and most importantly nobody should have the right to use their name or status to intimidate survivors who speak out or to tamper with justice.
I am still dealing with the effects of the rape the trauma of recounting that multiple times this week, and the indignity of being held against my will for two days.
I am still yet to come to terms with the fact that my fundamental human rights were stolen from me. I, therefore, ask that you respectfully grant me a few days of personal time to continue to access counselling and therapy sessions. while my team and I explore our next steps,” Ms Seyitan Babatayo Added.