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Star Actress, Stephanie Okereke-Linus Breaks Silence On Brother’s Rape Allegations

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-More victims accuse Daniel Okereke of defiling them

Nollywood screen diva, Stephanie Okereke-Linus has broken her silence on her brother, Prince Daniel Okereke’s alleged rape of a University of Lagos (UNILAG) undergraduate, which led to the suspect’s arrest.

News broke on Saturday, November 22, 2014, to the bewilderment of many that the respected and loved thespian’s brother raped a 300 level student of UNILAG (Arinola) at his apartment in Mende, Maryland, Lagos.

The victim claimed that the 37 year-old lured her into his home, and when she made it clear that she was not interested in having sex with him, “he called two of his security guards to help him tie me up and seal my mouth. He then brought out his belt and started flogging me,” she said.

She continued: “He molested me severally till he was satisfied. He later removed the ropes and ordered me out of his house. I was in pains and knew that since the law would finally release him because of his status, I needed to destroy anything within reach”.

When ENCOMIUM Weekly contacted the super star actress on Sunday, November 23, 2014, she ignored our call and text message. However, by Monday, November 24, 2014, the beautiful Mrs. Linus released a press statement, reacting to the news and stating unequivocally that she is no way involved with the alleged crime and thus bloggers and the media should desist from using her picture in sensationalizing the story.

She also re-stated her stance on all forms of violence against women, which she passionately campaigns against.

“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 Vaginal 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, it’s unethical and extremely hurtful. I am not the alleged accused. I therefore, please ask all bloggers and the media who have placed my pictures and name to this story to refrain from further using me to sensationalise this story. I thank my fans, and all well-wishers for your continued support and ask for your continued prayers. God bless.”

Responding to further enquiry on Monday, November 24, 2014, she simply said: “No more comments. And I will appreciate it if you will respect that.”

 

MORE VICTIMS CLAIM DANIEL OKEREKE HAS RAPED, LABEL HIM ‘BEAST’

Meanwhile, more ladies have come out alleging to be rape victims of the suspect, labeling him a serial rapist. The ladies who do not want their identity disclosed claim that Mr. Okereke has at one time or the other raped them, adding that he is a beast in sheep clothing.

One of the alleged victims, who is now married, claimed to have lost her virginity ‘to this beast at the age of 11 plus’.

“I went to his house, he said I stole his dollars and he beat me with belt”, another lady narrated. Continuing, she said: “He threatened to strip me naked and parade me around his neighbourhood, then he told me to take my clothes off and he raped me. After that he beat me again”.

Another alleged that Daniel, who she says parades himself as someone in the entertainment industry, forcefully had sex with her, and afterwards said: “I’ll want you to be my darling.”

Another, though not a victim, claimed the suspect had raped her best friend, adding: “I know of two girls he has raped”.

When Encomium Weekly reached out to the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Kenneth Nwosu on the issue, he promised to get back to us. But he didn’t till we went to press.

 

HOW MANY YEARS THE SUSPECT FACES IN JAIL, IF CONVICTED

When we contacted Mr. John Itodo, a lawyer, in the afternoon of Monday, November 24, 2014, he said, Prince Daniel Okereke (the suspect), if found guilty, would spend the rest of his life behind bars, and this is according to the amended laws of Lagos State.

Section 258(1) of the law stipulates thus: “Any man who has unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman or girl, without her consent, is guilty of the offence of rape and liable to imprisonment for life”.

If Prince Daniel is, on the other hand, found guilty of attempted rape, he faces up to 14 years imprisonment, that’s according to section 260, which states that any person who attempts to commit the offence of rape or sexual assault by penetration is liable to a 14 year jail term.

 

-MICHAEL NWOKIKE

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