ACJ OAU Press Statement On The Rape Case
THE RAPED AND THE RAPISTS [I]
“When people see a problem, they often reach for the easiest solution: pass a law. That doesn’t always work out, because force rarely changes things for the better, and that’s what those “laws” really are, just exercises of force.”
Over the years on this campus, many rape cases have been reported and dealt with in ways both commendably prudent and abysmally unforeseeable. The recent one is no exception. And we all duly know the attitude of the entire student populace towards this perversion irrespective of the guilty party.
It is true that it is a tradition to deal with criminals – however, not suspects – but convicts, found guilty by a court of law, or a trial jury. In fact, the resolution of the maddening mob at dusk on Monday, 27th October, as an aftermath of a previous day being Sunday, 26th, was a clear misplacement of the scientific maximum shishsi (SMS); it was practically a deviation towards inhumanity and self-driven torture.
We would not peel the bark of the seed now. We would rather postulate the incidence from the views of all the parties one at a time. And first, we begin with the accused.
THE STORY FROM THE POINT OF THE ACCUSED
According to the accused, in a recorded audio of an interrogative session moderated in Fajuyi Hall Secretariat, he said he deserved anything that would be done to him having realized his egregious act.
“What actually happened was that the girl came to my house yesterday… you know it’s a normal thing… a normal boy should get to say babe… and she says no! I was now like... why not (if she were here she could testify to it that we were like playing). At a point, she got up and said I want to go and I replied baby you are not going anywhere, we will do this ‘thing’… then she hit me on the head with a bottle of malt then I raped her. ”
The man, who expressed himself under duress, revealed that he is not based in Ife but only comes to Ife to ‘play’ while he resides with an uncle in Kaduna. He also claimed to have known the student since her Pre-degree days (tapping his fingers to even express certainty in time frame).
When asked if he actually beat the lady, the accused replied, questioning the possibility of raping and yet beating that same individual. He also confirmed that he didn’t use protection but never released in her.
Meanwhile he said he had threatened the lady before she reacted using a bottle against him; he had slapped her and actually hit her.
OUR IMPARTIAL OPINION
On the one hand, some sincere confessions have been made by the suspect. He confessed, but he was yet subject to so much savageness. He could better still have been handed over to the Police. It is a state crime that should take critical measures. It is only hardened suspects of high tendencies of being the actual criminal that are brutalized and clobbered to such lengths.
Once confession, then the law holds. On the other hand, while the audio was clearly decomposed; one prominent investigative tool was the controvertible proposition by a so called activist who put it to the suspect in a challenging manner as one who rapes, and such act being confirmed by his parents, and he could not deny.
By this time, it was no more an interrogation of a suspect but the castigating of a caught-in-the-act criminal treated with palliating measures. He was concurrently slapped and whipped while being questioned – forcing words from him. Apparently, one of the interrogators pleaded fairness and patience before any upshot. The voice, inferring from a similar case last year, exclaimed that the case be dealt with amicably. In fact, it was said that the man seemed stupid and time should be taken to study his stupidity.
But following the spontaneous response of students and the palpable rendition of their vindication of the victim’s (the girl’s) cry, there unfolds an impeccable picturesque orchestration of two rapists. While the suspect is taken as one by the generality of students, the crowd that echoed their voices which instigated a more fierce condition for the former are a second identified rapist.
We do not seek to plead his case. For no human with a boundless interwoven stream of blood-strings running through their veins should. However, logic must be consulted and employed when we battle issues such as this. To this end, has anyone thought it up why the school authority denied involvement in this incidence or why the Students' Union would traverse relations in the matter and disavow participation with the case? Well, we see that side attraction as a story for another time.
Insofar as we here pitch a stand of plain propositions and thought-while considerations, let it be known that we can never justify the beast’s actions, say a consequence of insanity, intoxication or psychological imbalance because this would further dent his already-tarnished image. We can never support this indecorous deed. We vehemently discredit it. And we opine the most suitable verdict be passed – even at this pendulous moment.
This is so because we can infer that this rapist is an individual with the four most important faculties of the human mind; syllogism, will, consciousness and control. We perceive he is deemed a moral person; not an amoral. To that end, he is responsible for all his reasoning, choices, decisions and actions under any circumstance as long as he is free and not exposed to any form of coercion or threat. Raping is a human act, not an act of human; consequently, no perpetrator of this denigrating perpetration should ever go unsullied.
He should serve punishment for being an insensate and preposterous being. And we surmise the possibility of his dilatory dilemma into a world of self-loath. He has indeed deprived himself, consciously and unconsciously, the virtue of benignity. Ergo, he is unworthy to be christened a human. He has lost his claim to the highest level of gregarious grandeur. He, considering all clemency and subtlety, at least, deserves an upside-down crucifixion.
And irrespective of his stance or the stability of his cognitive reasoning, he is a rapist though not caught in the act, confessed and treated otherwise; one that under accommodating circumstances could have been adjudged more fairly if the reverse had been the case; one who could have controlled his sexual inclinations, one who could have suppressed the beast that lies within him.
Nonetheless, he has tergiversated from the realm of a culprit; he has now become a victim; a subject to the most un-constituted abasement. Stripped of his liberty. Deprived of his pro-soiled self-esteem. Tried by a mob and not the law. Tried before an unapologetic crowd. Convicted in the face of imminent lynching and presented guilty. He has become the second person to be raped in two days. But now it is not of his sexual disposition but of his claim to rights of fair and unprejudiced hearing. Not of his personality but his humanity. And the aroused mob, a collective of blood-seeking rapists determined to see him pay for his crime and his consummate taint.
For we strive to signpost that to an understandable level, she should explicate her imbued faculty of discretion in every ramification. And even if ignorant of such expectation, we seek yet to uphold that she is responsible for the company she keeps and the decisions she makes because this is a university milieu and every student irrespective of age is presumed an adult.
As a result, we as a collective, bar all reasons and evidence, move to castrate such individuals who believe the girl outright innocent and calumniate blindly the superfluously overboard engagement of the man. Let us not forget it takes two to tango and logically this could be an instance of un-premised principle of cause and effect. Nevertheless, we do not aver her predicament apt for her actions. No, we do not. At this juncture, it is cognizant to note that our investigations continue and we shall unearth all that appear hidden on this issue.
We heretofore induce these revenge-seekers are constituents of primordial backgrounds hampering the majestic rationale of OAU Populace in its entirety. We deduce hereby that they are amenable tools of impaired vision led by an overlord driven by cogno-emotional affections for her fellow female folk. We deduce they are flag-bearers of unfounded sanctimony that cannot come out boldly to defend their righteousness.
Yet, we should construct another edifice of intellectual appraisal of this mob’s swift response. They did not hesitate to heed the lamentation of one of their own. They arose, as a unified advocating few, irrespective of relations or contemporary status quo of the political family – the Students Union, to fight the culprit and vindicate the first victim. They flaunted the pride of protocols to retrieve an almost petered-out dignity of their veiled colleague.
However, justice infers equality before the law and humans; a just and an unprejudiced treatment of cases and a guided review of situations before a final verdict is given. Alas, this is not justice. This is an injustice of the highest pedestal. This is only a guise in the mould of hackneyed stipulation subjected to sketchy perceptions of self-appointed activists and judges. The questions still unanswered are: are they animated activists or solitary sentimentalists, are they famed feminists or infamous ‘fame-inists’?
We shall not point fingers yet and we shall neither stick them deep in the enclaves of our pockets. We shall not raise quizzical eye-brows now but we shall blink our visages towards the unwarped truth soon. For if this persists, sooner than anticipated, a graver act of dehumanization looms. Then, we would raise our voice – not in panic – but to judge. And believe us, when we wield that sword of judgment in your direction as we endeavour to assert the strength of our pen, it might not bleed you but it most inferentially might shave your beard.
…to be continued.
Chairman, Guild of Editors
ADELEGAN David A
ALAWODE Tosin O