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.
Gas Explosion Injures 30, Destroys 23 Buildings, Event Centre, Vehicles in Lagos
30 persons were injured and about 15 vehicles reportedly destroyed by fire on Thursday after a tanker conveying gas exploded at Balogun Bus stop, in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, .
PUNCH Metro learnt that two gas tankers were being offloaded at a gas station in the area when one of the tankers, a 30 tonnes LPG tanker, exploded around 3pm.
It was gathered that the discharging valve of the tanker, which was compromised, led to leakage and ignited fire.
The fire, which spread to adjoining buildings, affected 23 buildings and 35 shops, destroying property worth millions of naira.
Our correspondent learnt that officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Red Cross were at the scene of the incident.
The Head of Public Affairs of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, said no life was lost.
He said, “It was discovered that a 30 tonnes LPG tanker being operated by Manna Gas Ltd was involved in an explosion which destroyed several vehicles, X and Y Event Centre and a plank market.
“It was discovered that a compromised seal device by the truck driver led to gradual leakage, which then ignited when the tyres burst. The impact of the explosion led to fire at adjoining buildings and several vehicles were burnt.
“Thirty people were found to have serious injuries and were taken to various hospitals, while two in critical conditions were referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.”
However, the Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, said 15 people were injured.
He said, “One of the gas tankers wanted to enter into Manna Gas Refiling Plant and before it could get access inside, it exploded and affected the second gas tanker and other domestic gas cylinders in the gas plant also exploded.
“The explosion affected 18 buildings housing 35 shops; no residential building was affected.
“Fifteen people had various degrees of injury and were taken to Iju Waterworks Clinic, while two were referred to the general hospital; 16 vehicles were burnt.”
The Acting Head of the State Fire Service, Margaret Adeseye, said the Ajuwon, Agege and Alausa Fire stations were mobilised to the scene.
FirstBank Appoints Oluwande Muoyo As Non-Executive Director
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, today announced the appointment of Mrs. Oluwande Muoyo as a Non-Executive Director. Mrs. Muoyo joined the board of FirstBank from FBN Holdings Plc., the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited.
Speaking on her appointment, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said, “We are excited to welcome Mrs. Oluwande Muoyo to the FirstBank Board. She brings to the Board her depth of experience which spans over three decades in various leadership and strategic positions across the private and public sectors. I am assured that these rich experiences will have an immediate impact in the board which will transcend the activities of the Bank as a whole.”
“On behalf of the board, management and staff of FirstBank, I congratulate Mrs Muoyo and look forward to working with her,” he concluded.
Oluwande Muoyo was appointed to the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited in 2020. She is a Chartered Accountant, Banker and former Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Planning in Ogun State.
Prior to being appointed an Honourable Commissioner, Oluwande worked with Stanbic IBTC Bank for over 22 years in various parts of the bank, including Financial Control, Treasury and Financial Services, Trade Finance and Corporate Banking. She holds a BSc degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos. She started her professional career with the international firm Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers). A Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Oluwande has, over the years, acquired competencies and skills in public financial management, policy formulation, business development, banking, budgeting, planning, auditing and taxation.
Her past Directorships include the Governing Board of the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and FBN Holdings Plc. Oluwande has attended many training programmes including Strategic Marketing Management at Harvard Business School, Advanced Strategy at INSEAD and Advanced Management Programme at the Lagos Business School. Oluwande is married with children and enjoys reading and swimming.
Family Petitions IG over Rape, Killing of Daughter by FCT SARS Officials
The family of a 28-year-old graduate of the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, Ifeoma Abugu, has been thrown into mourning after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and killed by the personnel of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Federal Capital Territory Command, Abuja.
It was gathered that three policemen on September 10, 2020, around 5pm, stormed the residence of Ifeoma’s fiancé, Afam Ugwunwa, at Wumba village in the Lokogoma area of Abuja to arrest him.
PUNCH Metro learnt that in absence of Ugwunwa, the policemen arrested Ifeoma and took her away.
Our correspondent learnt that all efforts to know the police station she was being taken to proved abortive as she was not found until Ugwunwa got a call the next day that Ifeoma had died and her corpse had been deposited in the morgue.
Ifeoma’s brother, Alex, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said she had just concluded her National Youth Service Corps and was arrested and killed four days after she had her introduction with Ugwunwa in Enugu State.
He said, “I was in Lagos when one of my junior brothers called me that he learnt that SARS arrested our sister and she died in detention. I just came to Abuja today (Sunday) and I have asked some of my uncles, who have been to the police station, and they said that the policemen alleged that they met my sister unconscious on the bed and they carried her to hospital, where she died.
“When I asked my sister’s fiancé what happened, he said he went out and someone called him on the telephone that SARS had arrested my sister and when he came back, he called someone he knew at the SARS office to help in facilitating her release, but the person was unable to do it that night.
“The following morning, he gave the woman money to help facilitate the release, but the woman called back to tell him that Ifeoma was dead. When my uncles saw the picture of her corpse, they saw signs that she was sexually assaulted. We’re waiting for the result of an autopsy to come out to ascertain what happened to her.
“My sister was arrested four days after her introduction in the village and her wedding was slated for December. We want the killers to be brought to justice.”
When our correspondent contacted Ifeoma’s fiancé, he said he was too distraught to talk.
The family’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Mamah, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to order a proper investigation into the matter.
He said, “She (Ifeoma) had just finished cooking that day, while her fiancé and her friend had finished eating and the friend left, while the fiancé went to see a friend in one of the neighbouring estates, when he received a call from a neighbour that the police had come to arrest his fiancée and she had been taken away and he received another call from Ifeoma that she was been taken away by SARS, but she didn’t know where they were taking her to.
“Ifeoma’s fiancé called a friend of his to help in looking for her and secure her release, but she was not found, only for the fiancé to receive a call the next day that she was dead and her corpse had been deposited in the morgue.
“The family of the deceased have not seen the corpse; the picture we have is the one the IPO snapped and sent to us when she went to the hospital, where her corpse was deposited; from the picture of the deceased, it appeared she was sexually assaulted before her death.
The SARS officers alleged that they met Ifeoma in an unconscious state and that when they got there, there was cocaine on the table and that they only helped to take her to hospital, where she was examined and pronounced dead, but they forgot that people witnessed when she was being taken away.
“We want justice to be served; we want the matter to be thoroughly investigated and assigned to good investigating officers, because the IPO that has been handling this matter is not erudite enough; that is why we do not have confidence in them. The officers, who perpetrated this act, must be brought to justice.”
Mamah’s petition to the IG read in part, “The IPO, Inspector Bullus, and DPO Usman informed us at the police station on September 15, 2020, in explanation that the deceased was met in an unconscious state by the officers. This explanation is contrary to the information from residents and our clients are not confident with the way the matter is being handled at the Apo Police Station.
“The SARS operatives, who did the arrest, are still not yet arrested and are freely walking the streets of Abuja. Our clients are not confident that the division will do justice in the matter, and the deceased body is still lying lifeless at Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital. Sir, we appeal that you use your highly esteemed office to ensure that proper investigation is carried out, that the culprits be brought to book and justice done.”
Our correspondent learnt the matter was first reported at the Apo Police Station and later transferred to the FCT Command.
When contacted by our correspondent, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah, said he was not aware of the matter and urged the family of the victim to come to the command for further investigation.
“I’m not aware of this incident, but give me time to make enquiries. You can also link me up with the family of the victim so that they can come to the command,” he stated.