Charles Novia has reacted to the press statement Nigerian actress, Stephanie Okereke released today concernng her brother’s rape case.
Ms. Okereke’s brother Daniel was accused last week, of raping a female undergraduate of UNILAG. In a blogpost which Mr. Novia titled, “Stephanie’s Cross”, the Nollywood producer/director and social critic wrote the following:
“Stephanie Linus ( nee Okereke) a Nollywood actress recently put out a reproduced statement below about a rape case involving her brother, Daniel Okereke , who is accused of raping a Unilag undergraduate and currently has a criminal case against him with the Police in Lagos.
Reading the statement, I could not help but feel pity and admiration for Stephanie. Indeed, it is a harrowing experience to have a family member accused of such a despicable and heinous crime and it is even more traumatic to be linked with the accused as if by being related by blood, she is culpable too in the crime.
Using recent templates in entertainment, one should ask if Brandy Norwood was culpable when Ray J leaked the sex videos of Kim Kardashian a few years ago? Or some other examples I cannot remember at present?
The truth is that in law, each one is judged by their own actions and Stephanie is not in any way under the limelight for a crime which she knew nothing of. For that, I wholly sympathize with her and pray for comfort for her and other members of her family at this trying period.
No matter the outcome of the case, there will always be a suspicion that Daniel Okereke did something to blacken the family name and the outcry against rape has been passionate (and rightly so) in the past decade in Nigeria.
I support any action taken against rapists by the law courts and while the onus of proof lies with Daniel to prove his innocence, there is no gainsaying that this case is going to be a watershed in Nigeria’s legal system for the interest it has generated. In a way, the family name is a respected name in both the business and entertainment sectors and a high profile case such as this will involve much microscopic scrutiny.
I commend Stephanie’s bravery in bringing out the statement below. She has proved by her action to be a worthy role model for a present generation.”
Well said, Mr. Novia.