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Nigerians Rally Online to Demand Justice In the Rape of 23-Year-Old Woman

#JusticeForRapeInNigeria is the online movement, demanding that the perpetrators of a recent rape case in Lagos be brought to justice.

Several vocal Nigerians have taken to social media to demand that two young men, accused of drugging and raping a 23-year-old woman on camera, in the Lekki area of Lagos State, be brought to justice immediately.

Initial reports on the arrest of the two men involved—identified as 28-year-old Razaq Oluwaseun Oke and 25-year-old Don-Chima George—varied, with some stating that the two were in custody and others reporting that they'd been let go because of their parent's connections—George is reportedly the son of a wealthy hotel owner. This caused a fury of backlash from Nigerians on social media. "This is Nigeria where anyone can get away with rape," wrote Twitter user KingNelo2.


However, the Lagos State Police have reportedly refuted claims that the perpetrators had been released. According to a report from Pulse Nigeria, Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, released a statement saying that the duo remained in custody at the Kirikiri Prison and had been arraigned earlier in the week.

"The Lagos State Police Command hereby states that the accused persons were arraigned before the Family Court 3, Ogba Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, for the offense of conspiracy and sexual assault by penetration to wit; rape," he was quoted as saying.

However, many Nigerians remain skeptical about the validity of these statements as well as the overall handling of the case, and are calling on officials to provide further evidence of Oke and Geroge's arrest to the public.

Because of the lack of trust in governmental institutions, many remain uncertain of the true status of the two perpetrators, and the lack of adequate media coverage has only exacerbated feelings of discontent around the handling of the case.

"It is underreported in Nigerian media because Nigeria has abysmal human rights laws and practices and is even more unjust towards women," says London-based lifestyle blogger and Fisayo Longe—a vocal proponent of the #JusticeForRapeInNigeria online movement that is currently trending as a result of the mishandling of the case. "It is such a misogynistic society that does not value women," she tells OkayAfrica. "It is underreported in international media because it is underreported in local media, police do not release official statements so there are no verifiable sources for the international media to document the story from."

Several people online have shared similar views, pointing to a harmful, misogynistic culture in Nigeria of not taking allegations of rape against women seriously and a justice system that allows certain wealthy citizens to buy their freedom, thus allowing them to commit crimes with impunity.






The immense response on social media shows that despite systemically harmful practices that often silence victims of rape, many Nigerians are unwilling to allow such injustices to continue without speaking out against them. "There [is] a shocking, unrealistically low amount of convicted rapists in Nigeria—they routinely get away with the crime," adds Longe. "It is important that we remain unapologetically vocal because women's lives are in danger—literally."

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This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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