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Online petition to UN against D’banj nears 15,000 signatures target

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An online petition against Nigerian singer Dapo Oyebanjo has been signed by over 13, 400 persons and inches closer to its 15, 000-signature target less than 24 hours after it was initiated.

The petition on change.org seeks a United Nations action against D’banj for allegedly raping Seyitan Babatayo.

The singer denied any wrongdoing and has demanded a sum of N100 million and a public apology to be published in four national dailies from his accuser.

“We call on the United Nations, and United Nations Women Africa organisations to remove Nigerian artiste Mr Dapo Oyebanjo as a youth ambassador and distance themselves from his actions following the sponsored kidnap of Seyitan who accused D’banj of rape and sexual assault which happened in 2018,” E. Popoola, a Britain-based Nigerian woman who started the petition said.

“We also call the attention of brands such as Heritage Bank Africa, One Africa, CSA Global and other establishments associated with Mr. Oyebanjo to end their commercial relationship with him and stand in support of victims of sexual violence.”

Trouble started for D’banj earlier in the month when a Nigerian model scout Benjamin Ese accused the singer of raping his friend in a hotel room in Lagos. Ese did not mention the friend’s name.

Ese’s accusation was in reaction to an Instagram post in which D’banj preached against rape and demanded justice for victims of rape.

Seyitan Babatayo later identified herself as the person Ese referred to and demanded an apology from the singer.

D’banj did not immediately respond to the allegations and when he did days later, he said the allegations were “lies from the pit of hell.”

“The incident is a slap to my marriage and my beautiful wife, my entire family, and those who believe in me,” he wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post.

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, said she was forced to delete her tweets on the rape allegations while in police custody.

Lagos State police spokesman Bala Elkana told The Guardian on Thursday that he was not aware of Babatayo’s arrest.

Babatayo also 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.

Despite the controversies surrounding the case, Popoola who started the petition insisted that Babatayo must be helped to get justice.

“We ask the United Nations and United Nations Women Africa to support and lend their influence in helping Seyitan get justice for the abuse she endured in 2018 and the harassment and bullying in the past weeks,” she said in the petition.


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