by Abidemi Dairo
Reactions continue to pour in after the news broke on Olisa Adibua’s alleged assault on a junior staff of The Beat 99.9 FM. Adibua was alleged to have battered Adewunmi Oyekanmi, a programme editor for Naija Fm, a sister station to The Beat FM, at about 3 am of Thursday 8 September 2011.
Although the apparently intimidated Oyekanmi reportedly has no intentions of pressing charges, some legal practitioners believe, if the story is found to be true, Mr. Adibua should be made to face the consequences of his action.
“I am shocked that he is still roaming free,” a Lagos based female lawyer who pleads anonymity said. “This is a criminal case and the law is very clear on battery; it is a shame that people get away with it here in Nigeria because it is usually not reported.
She also stated that although it is criminal, there is little the law can do unless the battered Oyekanmi decides to press charges.
“It is only the battered person that can say exactly what happened. If it had happened on the street or in a public place then it may be different but as it is without him pressing charges, nothing can be done.”
Speaking outside The Beat FM incident but commenting generally on battery, Efere Ozako, another Lagos based legal practitioner affirms that battery is criminal. Also speaking generally about battery at work place, he pointed out that administrative measures are required to protect the battered but firstly it has to be proven to be battery.
“There is a difference in self-defense and battery; it has to be a proven clear case of battery before legal actions can be taken,” Ozako said.
Commenting on violence at work, Olayemi Kutelu, a Human Resource personnel, condemned the incident.
“The Nigerian Labour Law is against it and it is against work ethics. The penalty is indefinite suspension that can eventually lead to appointment termination,” Kutelu said.
Also speaking on the incident, Storm Records’ boss, Obi Asika, a longtime friend and associate of Mr. Adibua said although he hasn’t spoken to Adibua on it yet, things aren’t looking positive.
“I am just hearing the story now too,” Asika said. “What I am hearing is terrible and he will have to make a public apology if it is true, but I don’t know if it is true yet so I will not like to make any comment.
Asked if he believed Mr. Adibua, is capable of battery, Mr. Asika said “it could happen; everybody loses it sometimes. I have known him for a longtime and I know he doesn’t go around beating people up but at times when people get provoked, they may end up doing things they don’t mean to do. I don’t want to speculate on this until I have spoken to him”.
Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi and Oreka, Adibua’s colleagues at The Beat FM both also said they don’t have details yet on the incident.
While Olateru-Olagbegi said she had a very busy day on Friday, the day after the alleged battery, tending to the different celebrities she hosted on her show for The Beat of Lagos celebration, Oreka revealed she is currently holidaying outside Lagos. They both however said they have never seen Mr. Adibua exhibit traces of violent conducts before.
“I have never seen him violent before,” Olateru-Olagbegi said while Oreka said, “he has never physically attacked me before”.
Mr. Adibua, who is reportedly on indefinite suspension, did not answer his mobile phone and did not respond to text messages.
More updates as this story unfolds