Published On: Tue, Jul 2nd, 2013

DELSU Rape Saga: Victim’s Lawyer, Delta Women Disagree over Settlement

DELSU Lecturer Mr Ifeanyi Ugwu

By Brisibe Perez
The last is yet to be heard of the alleged rape case involving a lecturer of the Department of Theater Arts, Delta State University, Abraka, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwu Raphael and a 400 level female student (name withheld) of the same department, as the counsel to the victim, Mr. Anuku Oghene-Menshach and the CEO/Founder of Delta Women Non-Governmental Organisation, Ms. Elsie Ijorugu-Reed have been locked in a verbal battle over a purported civil settlement of the matter.
It was gathered that the verbal confrontation started, following an alleged civil settlement of the case at the Ughelli Area Police Command as initiated by counsel to the lecturer, a move that didn’t go down well with the NGO, who had questioned the rationale for the intended settlement.
At the meeting held behind closed door, it was disclosed via counsel to Mr. Ifeanyi that his client had resolved to settle the matter in a civil manner. This was sequel to the unraveling of the report by the investigative team sent to the school to confirm the true facts behind the matter. All parties involved were asked to go home and return to the police station on the 21st of June on the next line of action.
Though, he declined the purported civil settlement, the Area Commander of the Ughelli Police Command, Mr. Aworisola Awotunde said that, “The issue of an intended civil settlement by both parties haven’t been brought to my table, so, I am not aware of that.”
According to a source that spoke with Mr. Awotunde on Tuesday, 18th, June, stated that, the matter has attracted too much public attention for it to be settled civilly adding that the matter brought before him is not a rape case, but a case of kidnap.
However, a visibly angry Ms. Ijorugu-Reed sent a message to Bar Anuku to confirm the report of the purported civil settlement and the war of words ensued. Below are the excerpts which started on the 18th of June;
Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: R u guys trying to cover a crime?
18 June 12:09 Anuku Oghene-meshach: Madam, you do not know me, I belong to the radical
School of thought, but I can’t be Roman Catholic than the Pope, I entered the matter without demanding for money, it is my one man activism. But if the parties want to resolve their matter, there is nothing I can do, I can’t cry more than the bereaved. At law, I am handicapped unless they are prepared to proceed.
12:24 Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: Why would u continue to represent her knowing it is wrong? If she lied, then she must be locked up period and that is my stand and what I intend to do, she cannot spoil the case for girls that are really raped
12:42 Anuku Oghene-meshach: Madam let me be, I have handled more delicate issues than this, without blemish, I can’t act on my own, the law do not allow it please, the girl’s parents said they don’t want case since the lecturer is begging them, so the police gave them time to see if they can resolve, so where have I gone wrong that you are assassinating my character for?
12:46 Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: No we would not let u be because u r covering the truth and we do not give a shit if the girl or the man settles out of court. Delta Women is going to see justice is served, and anybody that tries to cover the truth would be punished. We have to protect the next girl that falls victim and that is my stand, kindly quote me.
The above conversation was followed with comments on the Facebook wall of Ms. Ijorugu-Reed which Mr. Anuku was tagged on. Below are excerpts of the conversation:
June 18 Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: Mr. Anuku Oghene-meshach, we have a few questions to ask you. As the lawyer representing the girl, can we infer that you lied to Delta Women and Urhobo Times when you said that the version of the girl’s report was right? We recall that you told us that the girl was unjustly detained by the police. If so, did you not take an oath before the Bar to properly and truly represent your clients? Why did you encourage the girl to drop the case and settle out of the court? Have you found out that she has lied, or is it that you have been bribed by the other side?
We have come to understand that the case was latter sent to Ughelli Police Command, where it was revealed that the girl has been truly harassed.
Her phone showed series of messages from d lecturer. The lecturer now wants a settlement and the police and the girl’s lawyer is encouraging it! Our worry and question is: Is police allowed to do that? Should the lawyer not be protecting the girl’s interest? Is he not covering up a crime? What happens to the next girl who faces this?
June 18, 6:25pm Anuku Oghene-meshach: Please, don’t drag my name to the mud, I have my reputation and dignity to protect, I do not give bribe and I do not take as well. My records are there for you to verify and please mind your choice of words to me .The Nigerian Law allows settlement by parties to a dispute and if they so decide to so settle, no Lawyer can do otherwise, so please stop attacking my person, reputation and character I beg of you.
June 18, 6:41pm Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: If u have any dignity why are you encouraging a girl that told the whole world she was raped to settle behind closed door? Where you not at the settlement table at Ughelli today or not? Are you returning to Ughelli on Friday for settlement or not? When you play with shit do not cry if someone says u stink, because you stink right now.
June 18, 6:31pm, Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: Does d law allows a man to claim he was kidnapped?
June 18, 6:32pm, Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: It’s because of men like you, our girls are raped daily and you say you have a reputation?
June 18, 6:34pm, Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: Take me to court quote me please; you are a disgrace to men and lawyers.
June 18, 6:34pm Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: And do not have respect for women.
June 18, 6:35pm, Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: How is rape and kidnap a dispute? Pls define dispute.
June 18, 6:44pm, Anuku Oghene-meshach: You must be a mad woman; I thought you were a normal human being, idiot.
June 18, 6:47pm, Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: Yes, when a girl says she was raped and her lawyer tries to cover it up, it makes me mad, so yes, I am a mad woman.
June 18, 6:49pm, Elsie Ijorogu-Reed: Tell me why would any sane man cover injustice? Did you not tell me yesterday on the phone that the girl was locked up for two days? Why are you singing a different song today? Are you a rapist yourself or where you bribed?
When Mr. Anuku was contacted on the matter, he threatened to arrest this reporter ,adding that he (the reporter) in connivance with Ms Ijorugu-Reed are both threatening his life and hung up.

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