Making a case against rape: Sugabelly speaks out  

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When US based blogger and popular twitter personality @Empress Sugabelly had her private messages to a friend exposed by another twitter user, there was a lot of buzz on social media because not only were the contents of the messages very disturbing in it’s graphic description of the continuous sexual violation she was allegedly subjected to by the sons and friends of the late governor of Kogi state, Abubabakar Audu,  it also coincided with the death of latter.

There were questions like why didn’t she speak up? Why did she keep going back when she knew she what was in store for her in their hands? Why did she have to wait till the former governor of Kogi state passed on before she spoke up? Some were of the opinion that the opposition sponsored her on a smearing campaign.

Today, the lady in the eye of the controversy has come out to speak fully about her ordeal and address some of those questions. In her very descriptive blog post which she titled “Surviving Mustapha Audu and His Rape Brigade”, she alleged that Mustapha Audu, who she had begun a sexual relationship with at the age 17 before it degenerated into abuse, had taken compromising photographs of her nakedness. She was afraid that if she didn’t do his bidding, he would circulate the photos.

This is usually the case with revenge porn. Revenge porn is sexually explicit images or video that is distributed without the consent of the subject. The making of sexually explicit images or video may be made by a partner of an intimate relationship with the knowledge and consent of the subject, or it may be made without their knowledge. The possession of the material may be used by the partner to blackmail the subject into performing other sex acts, or to intimidate them from breaking off the relationship. The practice has also been described as a form of psychological abuse and domestic violence.

In the light of this, she alleges that Mustapha Audu used the power he wielded over her through the possession of the sexually explicit images to subject her to all manner degradation ranging from rape, physical abuse, to forced group sex with his brothers, cousins and friends.

She alleges that the physical and pscyhological abuse went on for six months before she moved to the US for her university education.

As it is with rape victims, fear and shame did not allow her speak up about her ordeal.


According to NOI statistics, 3 in 10 Nigerians admitted to personally knowing someone who has been a victim of rape; citing stigmatisation as the main reason why many rape cases go unreported, while the reported cases are just a small fraction of the true figures of this crime that happens on an almost basis in the country.

While we wait for the Audus to respond to Empress Sugabelly’s allegations, we urge the government to create public awareness against rape, as well as create more Rape Crisis centres that will counsel rape victims, as well as encourage those who are suffering in silence to speak up.

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