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  • Update on Idubor Case: Sept 3 Court Hearing goes nowhere; plus how you can help

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on September 3rd, 2007

    Hi Blog. Just heard word tonight about Nigerian citizen Osayuwamen Idubor’s case through a phone call from his wife. His case involves a seven-month plus incarceration on charges of rape, without any physical evidence (more information on Debito.org at http://www.debito.org/?p=537).

    She was put on the stand today to find out what she saw on the night the rape was thought to have occurred. Transpired:

    1) She had a security camera tape of what went on, which she did view. There she saw the alleged rape victim standing by the door unmolested, and two other staff members in their bar–as well as her husband. Which means he wasn’t alone with her that night. (The tape, since there was nothing of note that necessitated keeping, was erased ten days later, as normally happens under the machine’s settings.)

    2) One of the staff members has already testified in court that he was there that night, and saw nothing that Osayuwamen is accused of.

    3) Osayuwamen then drove home the girl he allegedly raped (while the staff went home by other means), and arrived home in the later morning.

    Two problems with the court proceedings:

    a) The court interpreter (which the court appoints) was not very good. Consequently the judge didn’t understand Osayuwamen’s wife’s testimony. So they have to repeat the hearing and Osayuwamen has to languish in jail another month.

    That hearing will take place on October 11, 2PM, Yokohama District Court. It’s open to the public. Attend if you like.

    Then there will be one more hearing after that, apparently. Which means Osayuwamen will be lucky to be sprung from the clink by the end of 2007.

    b) Why can’t he be sprung now? We have witnesses saying he didn’t do it. We have no material evidence saying he did. Why the presumption of guilt to this degree? My steadily intruding suspicion is that he’s being treated as more of a flight risk because he’s a foreigner (i.e. he might flee the country), although my sources indicate that nobody has the right to a speedy trial in this country anyway.

    Meanwhile, Osayuwamen rots in jail (quite literally–his rash is getting worse and his ear is still bleeding; no medical care apparently as yet) for another few months–and the court can’t get its act together enough to even get a competent interpreter? How unprofessional.

    HOW YOU CAN HELP

    1) The Idubors are having trouble making ends meet, given that they are paying for a lawyer and Mrs. Idubor is running the bar in his place. So you can:

    a) Contribute to their legal funds through their bank account:

    Osayuwamen Idubor
    Mizuho Bank LTD. , Tokyo
    Machida branch
    A\C NO.: 116-2788496

    b) Stop by their bar and buy a drink. It’s in Yokohama, and a friend of mine stopped by a few days ago (on a completely coincidental recommendation from a different bar) and said it’s very nice:

    Big Ys Cafe

    Yokohama-shi Naka-ku
    Yamashita-cho 106-3
    Laport Motomachi 104
    Tel. 045-662-2261

    Its open from 18:00 till morning. Map there downloadable in Excel and htm format (trying again, please advise if not downloadable):
    http://www.debito.org/bigycafemap.xls
    http://www.debito.org/bigycafemap.htm

    c) Join Mrs Idubor when she visits her husband every weekday in prison. She might be able to take two visitors with her each day. Contact me at debito@debito.org (please entitle your email “Idubor visit request”) and I’ll forward your email to her.

    In any case, thanks for reading. Your attention and assistance is very helpful to the Idubors at a time like this.

    Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    8 Responses to “Update on Idubor Case: Sept 3 Court Hearing goes nowhere; plus how you can help”

    1. James Annan Says:

      Map links not working – and google seems unhelpful for once.

    2. colin Says:

      Try plugging this into google maps:

      横浜市中区山下町106-3

    3. TJJ Says:

      It’s extremely unfortunate that she allowed the security video tape to be wiped. I can’t imagine why they let the machine tape over the footage without at least making a copy.

      “since there was nothing of note that necessitated keeping”

      Evidence of nothing is exculpatory…

    4. debito Says:

      TRANS PACIFIC RADIO REPORTS ON THE CASE:

      http://www.transpacificradio.com/2007/09/04/idubor-rape-case-false-imprisonment/

    5. Garrett Says:

      We had a wee bit of technical trouble over at TPR, but the aritcle is back up now.

      - Garrett DeOrio
      太平洋横断放送

    6. Garrett Says:

      TJJ,
      Apparently, the tape was wiped and reused on November 11 – Idubor was arrested on January 22. Presumably, they didn’t know they’d need the tape.

    7. TJJ Says:

      OK, thanks Garrett – that clears things up a bit, sorry.

    8. TJJ Says:

      I guess I never even remotely considered that it would take almost 3 months from the time of accusation to the time of arrest. That’s a big problem right there.

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