By Nehru Odeh
The timeline had been topsy-turvy. But the case seemed dead on arrival. On 3 June, 2020, she accused popular Nigerian musician, Dapo Oyebanji, aka D’banj, of raping her at Glee Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos in 2018. However, D’banj denied the allegation and on 15 June threatened to sue her for N1.5bn.
Then on 23 June, she released a statement through human rights group, Stand To End Rape Initiative, STER, narrating that the police allegedly arrested and detained her on 16 June, based on a complaint by D’banj.
Still, barely two months after she came out, the alleged rape victim, Seyitan Babatayo, has withdrawn the petition, citing personal reason. This was made known via a letter, dated 17 July, 2020 and addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
“We hereby officially notify you of our client’s intention to withdraw and discontinue her petition against Mr Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo aka D’Banj for personal reasons,” the letter, which was posted by Kemi Olunloyo on her Twitter page read.
However, while responding to the letter, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Admin), Umar Sanda, said the investigation had been discontinued due to lack of evidence. “In view of the foregoing facts, investigation was discontinued as (there is) no substantial evidence to prove the allegation of rape against the suspect,” he said.
Stand To End Rape Initiative also confirmed it, saying Seyitan decided to end the case without receiving any monetary compensation.
“On July 13, 2020, Ms. 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.” The statement read.
However, this latest development is not surprising. Controversial blogger, Kemi Olunloyo, had through several posts on her Instagram page contested Seyitan’s case, saying she was not convinced about it. She then asked some critical questions:
“I’m Investigating Seyitan Babatayo’s rape allegation claim involving DBanj. I can’t find a visible source of income for her yet she jets around the world. Who is sponsoring these trips with so many exotic hotels? She says she sleeps naked in hotels?
“I need to know more about her alleged kidnapping by DBanj’s team. I’m asking these questions and I need answers from her legal, feminists and activists team.
“At what point were you kidnapped and by who and how? What transpired on your journey to the so called hideout? Were you blindfolded? Where were you kept? Isolated or an uncompleted building?
“Was it a direct ride from the point of kidnapped to the hideout? What was the point of kidnap? Did you reach out to your mum, friends during or after the kidnap? Did you or did you not send anyone your location? “Did you at any point raise an Alarm?
“Were you kidnapped alone or alongside someone? From the station to your house/hideout did you at any point speak with your mother? What action did your family take? During your kidnap what happened from when you were picked up till when you were released? Did you make or receive any calls from your number during this kidnap window. If you know Seyitan Babatayo please help me get answers.”