Daniel saw to it, that he was the first person to resume work this morning. He thought it imperative to do so, he needed to be sure there was no sign or trace of his activities at work the night before, as he was also the last one to leave last night. He saw that everything was clean and tidied as it should be, before he relaxed and quietly awaited his colleagues to resume work. Daniel works as a masseur at a massage parlor in one of the highbrow estates on Victoria Island. As work resumed, the staff awaiting their various clients that had already booked for sessions, Daniel’s mind kept going back to last night and that last client that had come in very late and had the others leave him alone to finish his work. Thinking about it now had him regretting the wantonly act.
At noon, she walked into the parlor, the receptionist recognized her immediately as the very beautiful client that came in late last night, and was about to welcome her back with a big smile, when she saw that the client was flanked by three armed policemen. The receptionist was a bit taken back by this and greeted them in a meek voice. The client returned the greeting and calmly asked for the masseur that attended to her last night. The receptionist picked up the intercom and wondered whether to call her madam to the scene or just call Daniel directly. The cold stare of the policemen made her choose the latter. She called her madam immediately after calling Daniel.
Daniel walked into the room and froze to the scene that met his eyes. He knew immediately that he was in trouble and concluded that the client must be married to the Inspector General of Police. She pointed at him and simply muttered “That’s him”. As the policemen closed in on him, Daniel seemed to melt as he pleaded, almost crying “I’m sorry, please, I am sorry, I didn’t know who she was, please I am” the policeman holding out hand-cuffs to him interrupted.
“Mr. Daniel Offiong, you are charged with the suspected rape and sexual battery of Miss. Enola Badmus, …” The word ‘rape’ from the policeman rang a bell in Daniel’s head amidst his pleas
“Eh? Rape? Ah! That’s not possible! Rape? I didn’t rape her” he was already on his knees “I didn’t rape her! We had sex, it wasn’t rape, we had sex” turning to the client “Aunty please tell them, we just had sex, please tell them”
She simply looked at the policemen, then headed for the door. The policemen grabbed Daniel who continued to plead. Daniel spied his madam at a corner and felt complete guilt since he had violated one of the company’s strict rules in not having intimate relations with clients whilst on company grounds. But the need to clear himself of the rape allegation was more, so he continued to plead.
After about three weeks in Ikoyi prison awaiting trial, Daniel found himself in a courtroom. The judge was a woman, the jury were all women, and all looking like Deeper Life members. The prosecution lawyer also a woman. He did not stand a chance! He pleaded ‘Not guilty’ to the allegation of rape brought against him. The prosecuting lawyer started with him, asking him if he knew or had any form of connection or relation with the plaintiff before the said date, to which Daniel replied ‘No’
“So Mr. Offiong” the lawyer continued “On the night of the allegation, did you meet with the plaintiff Miss. Eniola Badmus?”
“Yes” Daniel replied “She came in for a massage at closing time”
“Ah! Closing time!” The lawyer pointed out “So I presume the other staff closed and left you alone to attend to Miss. Badmus, allowing you a quiet and alone time to work on Miss. Badmus”
“Ma, it’s not the way you are making it sound, but yes Miss. Badmus and I were alone”
“Then we can assume that you took advantage of the situation of being alone to carry out the allegation brought against you”
“Ah ma! No oh! I didn’t rape her. We just had sex!” Daniel almost shouted.
“But you just told the court that you had never known Miss. Badmus before that night. Are you saying you had sex with someone you just met?” The lawyer asked
“Yes ma, but i started to work on her first, before anything happened” Daniel responded.
“Okay, so if you did not rape Miss Badmus as you claim, it means the sex was consensual. Is that what it was Mr. Offiong?”
Daniel fumbled with the word ‘Consensual’ in his head for some seconds before answering “Yes, that’s what it was ma”
“So you both agreed to have sex. So at what point and how did you both agree to have sex, did she ask you for it, did you offer her money for it, did she offer you money for it, did you ask her for it? Did she say ‘Yes’ have sex with me?
Daniel was a bit confused with all the questions, but managed to answer “No, none of that happened, I was massaging her, and it just happened”
“I am confused here Mr. Offiong, none of that happened, and she did not say anything that led you to believe that she agreed to have sex. At this point, I have to believe that you only, agreed to your claim of consensual sex”
“Ma, I didn’t say she did not say anything oh! She repeatedly said ‘Lower, lower, lower’ then she started saying ‘Yes, yes, yes’ then the other things were more of sounds”
“Mr. Offiong, you have to prove to this court beyond any reasonable doubt, that what transpired between you and Miss Badmus was indeed consensual, by explaining in detail, what happened that night”
“Ma, can I really say as it happened, in front of all these people?” Daniel asked, nothing wanting to believe that this lawyer wanted him to narrate an incident that could be considered as explicit and adult themed.
“Yes Mr. Offiong, and remember, you are under oath and the gravity of the allegations brought against you”
After thinking for a while, Daniel started. “From the time she walked into the parlor till she got on the massage table, everything happened normally, the last of my colleagues still around at that time popped in to say she was leaving and reminded me to lock up everywhere before leaving. Miss. Badmus was on the table, she was lying on her front, with a towel covering the middle part of her body, while her upper body was bare. The company offers bikini like underwear for clients to wear so as not to be completely nude under the towel. Miss Badmus was not wearing hers, I informed her of this provision in case she missed it in our brochure, but she said she was ok. So I started to massage her. Minutes into the massage she started to wriggle and let out light gasps. This is common with some clients to easily get aroused and carried away during massages and letting themselves go. But we the staff have been trained to handle such instances professionally and carry on like nothing out of place was happening.”
“Sorry to interrupt, it is against company policy to have intimate relations with clients, whist on company ground?” The lawyer asked
“It is, ma” Daniel replied his face down.
“Carry on then” the lawyer said
Daniel continued his narration “I continued to massage her back whilst she continued to wriggle and moan, she started to say ‘Lower, lower’, I pretended to not hear her, then she turned her head at me and told me to go lower, so I did, I discovered that she wasn’t wearing the bottom half of the bikini underwear that she was supposed to be wearing, but I acted professionally about it. The wriggling became too much the towel fell, exposing her completely. I picked up the towel to cover her, by then, I was already feeling like any blooded man would feel, but I resisted and continued to massage. She continued to wriggle and the towel fell off again, I left it on the floor this time, and continued to massage her as she began to repeat ‘yes, yes’. I began to feel very uncomfortable and asked her to take control of herself, she turned at me again, fully exposing her breasts to me and her eyes said a million things, I was mesmerized, it was like I was in a trance, I removed my trousers and climbed on the table, I still held myself back, until she backed her bottom against my erection, that was the final wall that fell. As I entered her from behind, she matched my thrusts, backing up against me, her moans were so loud, I was afraid someone outside the building would hear her. After we were done, she simply got up like someone just awakened from sleep, went to put on her clothes and left without saying a word. Until the next day, that she came with the police.”
There was a heat in the room as he ended the narrative. The lawyer wiping away perspiration that had formed on her forehead and upper lips. She asked a few questions and excused herself. After some back and forth questions from both lawyers,
Miss. Eniola Badmus was called to the stand by the defense lawyer who asked if Mr. Offiong’s account of what happened that night was accurate. She replied in the affirmative. She was also asked if at any point during intercourse, she made any form of protest or resistance, to which she replied that she was too carried away and powerless to do that. But at no point did she give consent for sexual activity to take place, she was there for a massage, and got lost in the heat of the massage, the masseur had no right to take advantage of her situation and weakness by violating her body. She was victimized because the masseur could not be professional about the situation.
After another set of back and forth questions, the jury reached a verdict. The judge read out the verdict and found Daniel ‘Not guilty’ on the charge of rape brought against him and declared he was free to leave. Daniel could not believe his ears, he was free, and he looked at the people around him to affirm that he was indeed free to go. Daniel left the court full of thanks and praises and swore to himself, never to think with his manhood again. Just as he arrived at his house and was about to enter, a green army truck drove up beside him, five men dressed in army uniforms jumped out and picked him up, threw him into the back of the truck, one of them saying,” You think you can rape my oga’s girlfriend and get away with it?” He gave Daniel a very hot slap that woke Daniel up from sleep. He jumped up from his bed, his body covered in sweat. “jesus!” He exclaimed “jesus!” He exclaimed again “It was a dream!” He looked all around him to be sure it was truly a dream, he was at home, and it was morning. He looked at the time, he was not late for work yet. Then he remembered ‘Oh my god!’ He thought to himself. What was he going to do, he should not have had sex with that client last night. Maybe he should just run away now.