On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Seyitan Babatayo accused popular Nigerian Artiste, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo AKA Dbanj of raping her two years back. The allegation soon became the talk of the moment as twitter users chose sides and fought bitterly.
The ‘Believe All Women’ Camp
The first camp is the ‘believe all women’ camp. As far as they are concerned, a rape victim owns no one a conceiving story. All that matters is that the rape victim was courageous enough to share her tale. (The female pronoun is used because the victim, in this case, is a woman).
What this camp fails to realize is that allegations can be made by anyone for any reason. That a rape allegation is made doesn’t mean it is true. That is why rape cases are tried in a competent court of justice before the allegation becomes a fact.
To believe all rape cases regardless of whether the facts match up or not is a disservice to those who are accused wrongly. It also empowers bad actors to defame people who have wronged them.
The ‘Dbanj Has Always Been Bad’ Gang
The second camp is the ‘Dbanj has always been bad’ gang. These people believe Dbanj’s notoriety is enough reason to believe a rape allegation against him. They are prepared to make sure he pays for his crime (probably as a punishment for previous crimes).
While this might have some merit, people are punished for crimes THEY COMMIT and not for crimes THEY CAN COMMIT. Virtually anyone can tell a lie. But until someone is proven to have told a lie, he can’t be punished for lying.
To punish someone for a crime simply because he has punished other and/or similar crimes is a miscarriage of justice and unfair to the accused.
The ‘Dbanj Is Guilty By His Actions’ gang
The third camp is the ‘Dbanj is guilty by his actions’ gang. Some of them had previously given Dbanj the benefit of the doubt until news of Seyitan’s alleged abduction. This and other acts by the entertainer gave the impression that he is indeed guilty as alleged.
On one hand, Dbanj made a lot of actions that make him suspicious. He immediately slapped a 100 million libel suit against Seyitan. He tried to rake public sympathy by bringing his late son into the issue. He made a video where he was seemingly mocking his accusers. Then, there is the issue of the abduction and arrest of Seyitan to be considered.
That said, his actions could be the makings of a confused mind who did not know how to manage the situation. Even innocent people make mistakes when they are trying to clear their names.
The ‘Publicity Setup’ Gang
The fourth camp believes it is simply a publicity setup designed to generate public attention at best and animosity towards Dbanj at worse. Some of the people in this camp claim to have insider information of what they described as a smear campaign against Dbanj.
Most people in this camp examined the story offered by Seyitan and found numerous loopholes. Others believe rape allegations that are made months or years after the incident are done for a publicity stunt, revenge or to blackmail someone.
It would be irresponsible for anyone and unfair to rape victims if rape allegations are simply dismissed as fabricated.
The ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty’ Gang
The fifth camp is reluctant to declare Dbanj as a rapist and yet is opened to the idea that the allegation could be true. They believe in the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ principle and will stand by it.
The default response against this camp is that they are rape apologists. Some even argue that people in this camp hold their views because they have not met someone who was raped.
It is unfair to everyone if any allegation of sorts translated into a guilty charge. In a society like that, the powerful can prey on the poor; the string can bully the weak. It is where the courts exist.
What Nobody Knows About The Rape Allegation Against Dbanj
At this time, no one knows what will become of this allegation. ‘No one’ refers to the general public. It refers to people who are not the major actors or anyone close to them.
If it is true, then Dbanj has to pay for his crime. The scourge of rape has tormented Nigeria generally and women in particular for too long. Rapists have to start paying for their crimes.
If the allegation is false, then Dbanj might have suffered irreparable damage for nothing. it would be another ammunition for those who think all rape allegations are elaborate publicity stunts.
Perhaps, only time will tell. Perhaps, time won’t.