A creative designer and founder of Uhuru Designz, a United States of America-based clothing company, Izuchukwu Madubueze (simply known as Izu), has taken his own life over an allegation of sexual assault.
Izu, who resided in Tampa, Florida, reportedly moved to the US some years ago.
While his Lagos-based friend, Nelson Greyhood, confirmed the suicide to PUNCH Metro, efforts to speak to his family members proved abortive.
The telephone line of his brother, Ekene, was not reachable.
Our correspondent, however, read Ekene’s status update, indicating that his phone was ‘blowing up’ from multiple calls, as he asked his friends to send him text messages.
He had yet to respond to a text message from our correspondent.
Izu reportedly graduated from King’s College, Lagos, in 2013, before getting a scholarship to study at the University of Florida.
The King’s College Old Boys’ Association confirmed his death on its Twitter page.
PUNCH Metro gathered that a Twitter influencer and female rights activist, Nanichi Anese, added Izu’s name to a list of sexual offenders on the social media late June 2020.
She claimed to have received information from some anonymous ladies, who alleged that the victim sexually assaulted them.
Izu, who was contacted by friends, who saw the post, reached out to Anese, demanding the identities of his accusers.
However, Anese allegedly declined the request, saying she had sworn to protect the ladies.
After failed efforts to clear his name, the victim was said to have taken his own life.
Izu announced his own death on Twitter using Crowdfire App, an application which allows users to schedule their posts.
“Oh and if you’re reading this, I’m dead lol,” he wrote on July 17, 2020.
As reactions trickled in, his accuser, Anese @nanichianese, claimed she had spoken to him and they had apologised to each other.
When the criticisms increased, she deactivated her Twitter account.
However, before deactivating the account, Anese said her intentions were noble.
“I’m aching right now and have so many thoughts, so much anger, pain, guilt, sadness. But this isn’t about me. It never has been. For those of you healing so many wounds right now, I’m sorry if any of your pain has come at my hands. This is the last of what I would ever wanted and I am really struggling because my friend is gone,” she wrote.
Findings from earlier tweets by @nanichianese showed that she had listed the names of some men, including Izu, accusing them of sexual assault.
She urged them to have some “introspection” on their past dealings and seek the forgiveness of their former girlfriends.
“I have remained steadfast and will continue. No stories will be released, no names will be released. I stand by that and will not waiver. Deal with that as you see fit and do not attach me to anything. But this thread will live on,” she wrote on her timeline.
Izu, in a private message to Anese, whom he said was a friend, demanded details of the allegations against him.
He lamented that a lot of people had been calling him after seeing his name on the list.
Anese said she was told “the harassment was not physical.”
“Again, thanks for your response; I thought we had a better relationship than this Nani, but it’s cool, I can’t shoot the messenger. No one comes to mind still. My phone is blowing up, and I myself, I’m still shocked. If you could let the person know I sincerely apologized for any way I harassed them that’d be greatly appreciated. If they need to talk, they can reach me on (phone number). Feel free to post this too,” he wrote.
However, Anese said the victim declined to speak with him.
Izu expressed frustration at the accusation and released private messages of a lady, who asked to date him in 2017.
He said while he did not wish to discredit any supposed victim’s story, his efforts at knowing his offence had been futile.
“I am still pretty clueless as to who this is, so if you feel comfortable enough, please feel free to reach out to me so I can understand wherever I went wrong and make amends and do better overall,” he wrote.
His friend, Greyhood, told our correspondent that Izu later killed himself.
He said, “He schooled in the University of Florida, where he studied something like Criminology or so. He was staying in a small apartment before he moved to a big warehouse as his company was doing fine. He was a great guy with strong will. He moved to the US more than four years now on scholarship.
“It was actually over there that the rape allegation trended. The woman compiling the list of the supposed sexual offender is also in the United States.
“I went on Twitter and saw the whole story and how he pleaded to know the accusers and even brought out his past relationships, saying he had never abused anyone in his life.
“His friends close to him in Florida confirmed that he’s dead. The Crowdfire app he used to post his death allows people to schedule their posts. So, it dropped online after he took his own life.”
PUNCH Metro observed that a petition on change.org calling for the prosecution of Anese had been signed by over 5,000 people.
Thousands of Nigerians on Twitter also called for justice for the victim, with the hashtag#JusticeforIZU, trending for hours.
Eid-el-Fitri: NAOSNP Felicitates with Nigerians, Sues for Peaceful Co-existence
…Commends security agencies for standing strong against insurgency and insecurity
The National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), a league of professional Journalists and security news publishers, has extended their heartfelt felicitations to the Muslim ummah as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitri, calling for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
Speaking through a goodwill message, the Association’s National President, Mr. Oki Samson, praised the Muslim faithful for a successful conclusion of the fasting period while urging them to at all times exhibit the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (SWT) which allows for peaceful co-relationship with their neighbours.
“It is with great joy that I express my sincere wishes on behalf of NAOSNP, to our Muslim friends, partners and readers as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitri. I urge them to at all times portray the tenets of Islam which makes for peaceful coexistence among all and sundry,” Oki noted.
He stressed that much as the country is in a volatile situation at the moment, all the prayers the faithful committed themselves to in the last one month of Ramadan will surely produce positive results in the days ahead.
While commending the efforts of the security agencies in standing strong against insurgents and insurgency, and protecting the lives and property of Nigerians, Oki said that there is need for all to redouble their efforts, and more importantly pursue the fight without fear and favour.
“We commend our security agencies and agents for their selfless efforts at stamping out insurgency in our midst, and making it possible for Nigerians to sleep with their two eyes closed.
“At this period of Eid-el-Fitri, the Nigerian public celebrates you and appreciates your efforts at keeping the country together,” Oki said.
He further advised President Muhammadu Buhari to build more confidence and trust in the mind of the people as what the people need now is leadership that encompasses all.
“We also commend President Mohammadu Buhari on his efforts to provide purposeful leadership for Nigerians. We urge him to continue to create the desired atmosphere for Nigerians to peacefully co-exist,” the President said.
He pledged NAOSNP’s continuous support for the good and development of Nigeria and it’s desire to uphold a just and free society, adding that as a body of distinguished security news publishers, NAOSNP is all out to see that Nigeria is the most peaceful place to be on earth.
“We at NAOSNP, as a league of distinguished security news publishers, pledge our continued support for the good of the nation and it’s unity and will continually contribute our quota to see that top notch security is maintained in the country,” Oki said.
Lagos LG Debate Pivotal to Improvement of Governance Deliverables in Lagos
By Kunle Lawal
Debates among electoral candidates are centerpiece of campaigns during elections, worldwide. As a result, more than 60 countries have developed a debate tradition, and civil society groups, NGOs and concerned citizens have been critical in making that happen.
Debates are pivotal in helping voters make informed choices on various levels of elections and encourage candidates to focus on policy issues.
The Electoral College Nigeria, a non-governmental organization which I lead as its Executive Director, has indicated its interest to conduct the Local Government debates in Lagos State.
I have also stated that the Local Government is the first handshake of democracy to the people and voter apathy in its election plus the poor accountability ratios of the tier of governance from the electorate spell why people are yet to feel the true impact of governance.
Last year, the Electoral college was responsible for hosting the Lagos East Senatorial debates at the end of the year with raving reviews from participants.
This year, we have mentioned that in conjunction with “Rate Your Leader”, a digital democracy app that puts registered voters in direct person-to-person contact with their local decision makers, making them justify every decision they make and every penny they spend and making them truly accountable to the people they serve,
now available in Nigeria.
The Electoral College intends to host the LG debates after the party primaries. The College’s commitment to democracy through civic education would be incomplete if the quality and presence of debates did not improve. The Electoral College intends to work in conjunction with LAISEC and other relevant non-partisan CSOs to deliver a debate that would involve the electorate, using the media available to different strata in the society.
If Lagos gets it right, it could trickle the progress across the nation and reiterate the College’s commitment to politeracy (Political literacy) and it’s target of educating over one million Nigerians before 2023.
Kunle Lawal is the Executive Director, Electoral College, Nigeria
Suspects Arrested in Osun Reveal Shallow Graves of Victims in Benue
The Police in Benue State have uncovered mass graves in the Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state.
The discovery was made possible by two of the eight gang members arrested in Osun State last week for kidnapping.
Recall that the Osun State Police Command had last Saturday announced the arrest of eight members of a gang, who are from Benue State, in the Omo Ijesa area of the state.
The spokesperson for the Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, had explained in a statement on Saturday that the eight-member kidnap gang abducted one Mrs Catherine Akiishi and relocated to the state to negotiate the ransom for her and added that the suspects would be handed over to the Benue State Police Command.
Two of the suspects, Aondoaseer Terseer, aka Bob Tsetse, 23, and Orkashima David, aka Cash Money, on Monday led a team of detectives to the shallow graves, where their victims were buried in order to conceal their nefarious activities.
The suspects claimed to have been working for one Azonto, a militia and the late Gana’s second-in-command and were responsible for several kidnappings and killing of security agents in the Sankera area of Benue State.
The victims were identified as John Nyitamen, Catherine Akiishi, Aondoverb Fidelis as well as wives of two of the suspects.
The suspects were said to have confessed to killing their wives, with Tertse allegedly saying his wife died when a piece of wood he threw at her pierced her neck following a misunderstanding.
David said his wife’s death was instigated by his father after he accused her of trying to set him up by calling security agents.
According to him, through the help of his two other gang members, the wife was killed and her remains buried in a shallow grave.
The suspects gave the names of their other gang members as Umangu Ihuman, aka Aka; Agwe, aka Banga; Aondover Ihom, aka D’ver; Luper; and Yaryon, aka Snake, adding that four of them had been killed by security agents.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene, who confirmed the discovery, said she was still expecting details of the operation carried out by her colleagues in Katsina-Ala.