The start of the impunity is what remains confusing. Where do we begin?
Is it the video of the ladies where they make a false allegation? Is it the bounty that popular musician David Adélékè “Davido”, placed on the heads of the ladies illegally for information leading to them? Is it the handcuffs which appear on the hand of the ladies who had alleged Davido after their “apprehension”?
Is it the threat to slap the woman who did not raise up her head in the video? A threat from a citizen to another.
The exact place from where to pick the narrative remains confusing. All the same, wrong is scattered all over the story.
The ladies who alleged Davido, the music artiste of impregnating one of them did so wrongly and should be condemned as they provide where best to begin the piece. These ladies represent an emerging distasteful trend of false allegation on men.
In recent time, sport starts, religious leaders, celebrities and other category of popular people have come under allegation of sexual offenses with the particular popular case of Timi Dakolo and Biodun Fatoyinbo still in court.
It is becoming rife and Nigerian legislature now needs to consider enacting serious punitive measures on sexual allegations which turn out false. It should not be so easy to get away with false allegation and heavy criminal punishment should be attached with options of damages for whoever becomes a victim of such allegation.
The nature of sexual allegations are most dangerous in the speed with which they spread and the impact they create. Sex is treated as an indoors, almost secret affair in most of Nigeria. Where there is an allegation of sexual offenses, the news spreads like wildfire and where true the damage to the image and reputation of the man is not manageable.
The ladies who have already apologized went extreme and they are a point of contact for several others who have engaged similarly in false allegations. They have claimed they were joking and their allegation that Davido impregnated one of them is false. But following their apology, Davido would have none of it.
The saying, two wrongs cannot make a right immediately became triggered the moment that Davido who is a citizen of Nigeria like 200 million other people placed a bounty of 1million Naira on the ladies along with information leading to them offline.
Placing bounties is an extreme that only the police can exercise and even at that for hardened criminals. Imagine, with the high level of poverty, someone attacks these ladies to claim the bounty or threatens them. Davido himself would not have been pleased with such an outcome had someone, say a fanatic fan, goes to an extreme.
Digging further, the next ugly face rears its head when someone possibly Davido’s man, Special Spesh, proceeds to handcuff the ladies while threatening to slap them. He was also heard ordering the arrest of someone who was bathing.
The legal issue created here is that libel or defamation, which was comically and wrongly mispronounced “labeling and deformation” by Davido’s goon- libel is written and the ladies never wrote anything. Slander and defamation at best qualifies the offense.
However, under Nigerian law, these two are not criminal offenses and are not one for which a private citizen can effect arrest. They constitute tort for which Davido could have sued them upon locating them.
The tide of the issue has turned in favor of the ladies who can sue the hypeman for false imprisonment under the law. They were confined against their wish in an enclosed space which constitutes a similar violation of their own right along with the threat to slap which constituted an assault. Assault and false imprisonments are actionable for damages equally.
The effect of arrest by private citizens should be discouraged by the government where the issue is neither a felony, misdemeanor or simple offense even. It was a matter in tort and no law provides anywhere for direct assault, threat to beat or arrest while bathing which was being threatened in the video by Davido’s hypeman.
Looking at Davido, he is from a family that controls power and wealth. His action paints an oppressive picture even if Davido himself does not have such an oppressive nature. It seemed more an attempt to throw his weight into the issue and boss around. It is doubtful if other artistes would take such allegation which such seriousness following retraction.
Davido is not a small artiste and in a world where social media has created several absurdities, he should have gotten to a stage where such things appear common. Upon their apology, he should have dismissed it as another of the nonsense which comes with being a celebrity.
Some comments on social media read along - “is this what he would have done if his Uncle was Governor?”. However, I disagree with this view. Davido may have only slightly gotten overprotective. At the same time, he could have avoided such misinterpretation by dropping the issue or suing within the provisions of the law without the bounty, the threat on the ladies and the handcuffs.
It is expected that in future, government takes a deep frown against such actions. The Davido example may birth recreation by several Nigerians who have social media conflict.
Tracking people down over media comments is not a trend anyone wants to encourage in Nigeria.
In conclusion, if the ladies did not make their video, Davido would not make his reaction. It has reached a peak, the false allegations on people who struggle to build a name for themselves, we have seen it with Neymar, the Brazilian footballer along with several other men and women.
Society must also begin to advocate against and punish false sexual allegations.
Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa writes from Ibadan, Nigeria.