By Ayo Onikoyi
In the past few days the rape allegations levelled against Nigerian pop star, Adedapo Oyebanji professionally known as D’Banj by a female accuser known as Seyitan Babatayo has dominated conversations and discuss across all spectrum of communication. The days following the allegations have been intense with emotions boiling over as people take sides with either the accuser and the accused.
While the matter has assumed a legal dimension, the former media manager and publicist of the Kokomaster, Peter Thomas has shared an intimate knowledge of him, describing him as warm, kind-hearted, cultured and well-mannered.
According to him, “ You know him as D’Banj, I’ve always addressed him by his first name, Dapo. The Dapo I know is warm, kind-hearted, cultured, well-mannered and would “stoop low” to conquer challenges. So, it’s shocking and embarrassing news to me that he would be involved in a rape. Rape? Why him? The Dapo that we have a tight history together would not associate himself with a rapist, talkless of soiling his reputation with one.
“The Dapo I know on sensing an ugly report about him would be worried, restless that it must not get into the press because of his unbelievable fear and respect for his parents and would not want anything that would make them want to scold or reprimand him for tarnishing their name. He would always tell you, “I treasure my good name. A good name is better than gold and diamond. Baba, anything that will soil that name don’t let it come to me.”
So, the Dapo I know, would by now (even before it gets into the headlines) have paid a surprise visit to her at home and sweep her parents and siblings off of their feet with enough ‘swags’, smiles, warmth and prostrations. He would have begged publicly to salvage his name and reputation. That’s why I’m a bit doubtful he wholeheartedly involved himself in a mess like this. Why? He would have begged her privately, passionately and publicly. It doesn’t cost him anything to say, “Please, I’m sorry. Forgive me” he said of the singer who has stuck to his guns that he never raped the accuser.
“He’s not only a charmer, he’s a talk-and-do. He wouldn’t bring her loads of flowers to appease her because it’s really not an African thing but he would go with appreciable gifts for her and the family. He would go with emissaries to beg on his behalf and would do anything on the spot to make the aggrieved lady in question confess in front of her family that, “I have accepted your apologies. I’m allowing bygone to be bygone. From my heart, you’re forgiven.”
“Dapo I know would not use the police to arrest or intimidate a Kokolet, for what? The Dapo I know would not allow the indecent incident to get to the police station, talkless of a law court! Something must have really gone wrong somewhere, somehow, somewhat, for him to have resorted to such forceful arrest and detention by the cops, that hasty and wrong move must have been triggered by the “textbook Managers” around him.
Even when a long-throat Kokolet stole about $2,700 when he was still a bachelor, he did not order for her arrest, did not allow his aides (house helps) and police escorts to beat or teach her a lesson. He simply put on his charming smile, cajoled her to return the money, that half the money was hers, why would she be stealing part of the money he wanted to give her for transport fare? Being a talk-and-do, he gave her $1,300 and told her the $100 is to be shared by the people who didn’t rough handled her nor allowed her to sneak out of the gate,” added the ex-manager, who concurred the singer is being presently managed by incompetent media managers.
Peter Thomas was D’Banj and Don Jazzy’s media manager and publicist from 2004 to 2009.