Legal Drama

Celebrity Crimes: Fuji Star Obesere Accused of RAPE, Detained & Questioned by Police

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Allegations and report surfaced yesterday that the (alleged) twenty nine (29) year old Fuji star Abass Akande aka Obesere was accused of rape and detained for questioning by the police. He has subsequently been released on account that he is not a flight risk and the police will continue with investigations. So far, he has not been charged.

The Victim’s Account of the Alleged Rape Culled From The Vanguard, of which Obesere says Sex was consensual:

According to Olaiya, a National Diploma graduate of business administration from Ibadan Polytechnic, “I got to know Obesere through one of my friends, Mrs Bola Okoro. She told me that Obesere would assist me in my business.

“I deal in office equipment and when I contacted Obesere, he asked me to meet him in his family house at Okota. When I met him, I introduced my business to him and he promised to connect me to some of his friends in Dubai who would sell goods to me on credit.

“After the discussion, he started demanding for sex and I refused and when I wanted to leave, he insisted I should sleep over in his house because it was late and he claimed that it was dangerous to go out late in the night in his area.

“I thought he was a responsible man and I decided to sleep over, but at the dead of the night, he came into the room where I slept and pounced on me.

“He raped me and afterwards inserted a ring he wore into my private part and I started bleeding. He hurriedly left me in the room saying he had an appointment to fulfil.

“I could not bear the trauma and the bleeding and I reported the matter to the police.” – The Vanguard

RAPE LAWS IN NIGERIA
As a Nigerian man or woman, you should know a few things about your country’s laws on rape. If you are also a visitor, especially a female,  in Nigeria, you should also know these laws.

What Code Applies?
Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act, Chapter 77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990

What is the relevant Chapter You Should Be Concerned with?
Chapter 30 with the Subheading “Assaults on Females.”

What are the pertinent laws or section governing rape?

It is pretty straight forward and self explanatory.

IF YOU COMMIT THE  CRIME OF RAPE, WHAT IS YOUR CRIMINAL LIABILITY?
In a nutshell, any person (so could be man or woman) who commits rape, if convicted, receives a life imprisonment sentence.

IF YOU ATTEMPT THE CRIME OF RAPE, WHAT IS YOUR CRIMINAL LIABILITY?
If any person attempts the crime of rape on a woman or girl, he/she receives, if convicted, a 14year imprisonment term.

IF YOU COMMIT THE CRIME OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, WHAT IS YOUR CRIMINAL LIABILITY?
If you commit a sexual assault on a girl or woman, it is  a misdemeanor. If convicted, you will receive a two year imprisonment term.

The only issue I have with this particular statute is that it says, the assault has to be “unlawful and indecent.” The “and” conjunction creates a loophole. Meaning, one could technically assault a woman or girl,  the act is unlawful but if it is not “indecent,” then there is no sexual assault. Problematic if you ask me.

PROBLEM WITH NIGERIA’S RAPE LAWS IN GENERAL
Rape against young boys and men is not covered. The stories and sexual crimes against our young boys are equally as alarming as that on our women, especially these days. The statute should clearly expand to cover boys and men.

The other main problem is enforcement. However, thanks to social media, especially, we are seeing people begin speaking up against these crimes which is critical towards mounting pressure for criminal arrest and conviction.

The Criminal Rape Code Section provides as follows:

Chapter 30
Assaults on Females: Abduction

357. Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or, in the case of a married woman, by personating her husband, is guilty of an offence which is called rape.

358. Any person who commits the offence of rape is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.

359. Any person who attempts to commit the offence of rape is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without caning.

360. Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults a woman or girl is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years. . .

FOR NIGERIANS IN AMERICA, NIGERIAN-AMERICANS AND OTHER AFRICAN GROUPS, HERE IS WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RAPE LAWS IN THE USA.

1. One, you never want to be accused, arrested or convicted of rape. Don’t let that ever happen. “No” means no regardless of how you swing i.e. straight, gay, bi or what have you.

2. In the USA, an adoption of the British Common law system limited rape to rape by a man against a woman, just like present day Nigeria. Modern statutes, however,  have expanded such definitions so gender is irrelevant.

3. In most states, rape is a first degree crime, although some states do have tiers i.e. rape in the second degree etc.

4. Full penetration is not necessary, it can be slight.

5. Each time you penetrate, it means you can be charged with yet another rape count. So, for example, you could have 15 counts of rape charges filed against you if you penetrated 15times during the course of the rape against your victim.

6. Sex with a minor is RAPE i.e. statutory rape. This is where a lot of our youths (males in their 20s onwards) of African heritage in the USA are beginning to get caught. In many states, a minor means under 18 years. However, do note that the age of a minor could vary depending on your state.

7. Also, be aware that as a convicted rapist, most states require you to become a registered sex offender, for life. Also, do note that you need not rape your victim to become a registered sex offender, sexual assault whether felony or misdemeanor can qualify you in some states.

8. Finally, married men can be rapist too. The laws in the United States of America protect married women from rape. I find it odd that many Africans think that a husband cannot rape his wife.

Let’s narrow in on California where I practice. Below are some of the relevant rape statutes you should know.

California Penal Code Section 261 deals with Rape in general | California Penal Code (CPC) Section 262 deals with Spousal rape | CPC section 261.5 deals with Statutory rape | CPC 266(c) deals with Oral Copulation by Force; and CPC 289 deals with Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object.

Are people falsely accused of rape? Yes a lot more often than you think. Indeed, it destroys life when that occurs. Often, also, the men who get caught up in this, associate with women they had no business associating with in the first place. While bad things do happen to good people, lifestyle choices and association makes a difference in terms of the serious legal trouble you can bring on your door steps.

Let’s see what happens with the Obesere case. I am happy to see the police on top of this and hope that if indeed he committed the act, he is arrested and ultimately prosecuted and convicted.

#EndSars Human Rights Lawyers Panel

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
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