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Monday, 24 November 2014

BEYOND ENTERTAINMENT: Actress, Stephanie Okereke Linus Elder Brother Arrested for Raping a Unliag Female Student

Stephanie Linus has released a statement addressing the rape allegations against her older brother, Daniel Okereke, who was arrested for allegedly molesting a UNILAG student named Arinola. Like any right thinking woman, Stephanie is devastated by this. See her statement below.. "Rape is Rape, Regardless of Who the Face of the Accused is” - Stephanie Linus. I am distraught and devastated to hear of the recent allegation of rape brought against a relative of mine, Daniel Okereke (my brother).


While it is a very difficult time for me, and my family; I feel the need to make clear my position, lest there be any doubt. Rape is rape, regardless of who the face of the accused is.

Indeed, the irony is not lost on me. I have spent my lifelong career advocating and living my conviction that women around the world should be able to live free of violence, sexual harassment or any form of abuse against their persons. This conviction led me to be involved in numerous initiatives combating violence against women in several countries including the U.S, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The conviction also led me to place much of my energy on my work with Vesico honeypotl Fistula (VVF), a passion that dates back to my time at the University of Calabar.

As a student, I heard a story about young girls who had been forced into early marriage and were suffering the negative and embarrassing effects of VVF. The story stayed in my consciousness and drove me, for years, to seek ways to raise awareness on the condition; leading to my work with a team of dedicated doctors to carry out repair surgeries for VVF victims across the country; and my self-produced, soon to be released movie, ‘DRY.’

So, again, it is indeed heart breaking for me to receive and deal with news alleging a family member of mine is an alleged perpetrator of sexual violence against a woman. I am devastated.

This case is now in Nigeria’s criminal justice system as the accused awaits arraignment. I have also encouraged and assured the alleged victim of my stance against rape and applaud her for her bravery to upset the culture of silence, in Nigeria; even as I accord deference and patiently wait for the criminal justice system to determine the guilt or innocence of my brother.

For Nigerian press and blogs; I call on you to please report this case in an ethical manner. I am a married woman living my life. The alleged transgression of my relative does not make it mine. The focus should be the impact of rape on the alleged victim, and resources for other alleged victims, not me.

Some members of the press and blogs have turned me into the accuser; using my name for sensational headlines and putting my images, exclusively, in their stories. This is a form of victimization of me as a woman, its unethical and extremely hurtful. I am not the alleged accused.

 I thank my fans, and all well-wishers for your continued support and ask for your continued prayers.
God bless.

HOW IT HAPPENED:


Culled from Vanguard 
November 6, 2014 was like every other day for 300 level student of Computer Science (names withheld) at the University of Lagos, Akoka Yaba. As the ailing student who managed to attend lectures stepped into her apartment located at Moremi hall, never in her wildest imagination did she envisage she would end up being a victim of rape.
However, the signal of an imminent emotional and psychological trauma reared up after one Daniel Okereke, a man that had reportedly being wooing her since last month, came visiting. Without any inkling of an apparent sinister motive, the undergraduate was said to have reluctantly left to attend to her visitor,who upon seeing her condition, opted to take her to a pharmaceutical store around Akoka to get some drugs.
Not yet done with his show of concern, the visitor reportedly took the female student to an eatery, so that she could eat before taking the drugs. Thereafter, he reportedly took her to his abode at Mende, Mariland where he allegedly ended up raping her.
Narrating her ordeal to the police, the student who had marks of strings on her back, hands and legs , narrated how she narrowly escaped being murdered by Okereke, in her bid to free herself from his grips.
According to her: “ When he came visiting, I never knew he had something sinister in his mind until we got to his place. At the eatery, he ordered that the food be made take-away and asked me to go eat it in his place and at the same time rest before taking me back to the hostel.
Immediately we entered the room, he secured the door and I had supper and later asked to be taken back . But he said he must have sex with me. I tried to appeal to him to consider my state of health and take me back to campus.
Before I knew what was happening, he started beating me, forcing to have his way. As if that was not enough, he called in seven guards in the compound who assisted him and tied me down. He thereafter, went into his kitchen and brought out a knife, threatening to kill me if I resisted. He took me to one of the rooms where he brought out a condom and raped me.
Crime Guard gathered that when the 23 year-old lady was untied, she went violent and started shattering every property she could lay her hands on. In the process, one of the objects she allegedly threw out of the window, landed on a vehicle belonging to one of the tenants, smashing its windscreen. That attracted neighbours.
The case was reported at Area ‘F’ Ikeja , following which Okereke was arrested . During interrogation, he reportedly claimed to be nephew of a former Director -General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE and cousin to a front-line Nollywood actress who ironically has a foundation which promotes the well being of women.
He was said to have been released on bail, an action the victim frowned out. The case was thereafter transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID Panti, where the 36-year-old Okereke was rearrested.


He reportedly claimed that the victim destroyed his property , an action that was engendered by the violence meted to her. Okereke was charged to court Thursday. Equally charged was Idris Abubakar, the security guard who allegedly assisted Okereke to tie up the victim.

They claimed not guilty and were granted bail, while the matter was adjourned till January 9, 2015, for trial.

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