The Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers and Advocates, COPA, has called on the Nigeria Police Force to immediately arrest popular musician, D’banj over a rape allegation leveled against him by one Ms Seyitan Babatayo.
COPA in a statement signed and issued on Wednesday by its Director, Human Rights and Gender, Mr. Patrick Odey, urged the Nigeria Police to allay the fears of ordinary Nigerians in its handling of rape matters in the country.
The group of lawyers also commended the timely intervention of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, noting that time had come for every Nigerian to rise up to the challenge and bring rapists to justice.
“We welcome the forthright and timely intervention of the Inspector General of Police, who has since ordered a comprehensive investigation into this matter.
“This directive is timely given the individuals involved and the peculiarity of the issues therein, as well as the ugly times we live in as a nation where incidences of rape and other gender-based crimes are rampant.
“The intervention of the IGP is satisfying and assuages rising public fear before now that the instrumentality of the Nigeria Police Force had been hijacked by the bourgeoisie class of the Nigerian polity to protect the musician.
“Speculations of manipulation and partiality in the investigative process especially given the status of the alleged offender in comparison to the victim, but the directive of the IGP are, to say the least, reassuring and highly welcomed,” Odey said.
Reacting further to the rape allegation, Odey said that the delay in inviting the alleged offender for the purpose of interrogation in pursuance of the investigation ordered by the Inspector General leaves much to be desired as regards the public perception of the process.
“Justice must not only be done but must also be manifestly seen to be done, and for us at COPA, the manifest path of justice extends to the conduct of investigations and the treatment of the parties.
“It will be a fair play if there will be a transparent and visible investigation to ensure that a proper, dispassionate and comprehensive investigation into the allegations was conducted without considering the personality involved,” he added.
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