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  • Nigerian Idubor loses criminal suit, sentenced to three years for rape despite no material evidence

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on December 10th, 2007

    Hi Blog. A terrible way to ring in Jinken Day (which just happens to be today in Japan):

    Osayuwamen Idubor, a Nigerian accused of rape and incarcerated since January 2007 (despite no material evidence whatsoever), has just been sentenced today by the Yokohama District Court to three years in jail (less the year he’s already served).

    (Background on this case here.)

    I just called Idubor’s wife, and she’s too traumatized to give me much information. I will get more information from Idubor’s lawyer later.

    What I have heard as of this juncture:

    1) When the judge read off the reasons for the conviction, there was audible laughter in the courtroom at how ludicrous it was.

    2) The Nigerian Ambassador was there, and he was not happy with the verdict.

    3) They will appeal.

    4) Idubor’s wife believes his foreignness is a factor in the decision.

    It’s hard for me to comment authoritatively at the moment, but if one can go down for three years on a charge with no material evidence, and for being a foreigner, it’s open season. Anyone can point the finger at you and say you raped them, and the cops will incarcerate you for a year, and you can be convicted now even without a confession.

    It seems there are different standards for justice and criminal prosecution, once again, for foreigners. Just like in the Valentine Case.

    If you’d like to lend your support, drop by the Idubor’s bar, located here:
    (Closed Mondays, i.e. today)

    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 downloadable in Excel and htm format:
    http://www.debito.org/bigycafemap.xls
    http://www.debito.org/bigycafemap.htm

    I’ve been. Nice place, and great rotisserie chicken. Seriously.

    Ms Idubor could certainly use your help at this time. Arudou Debito in Sapporo.

    =====================
    –UPDATE DEC 18

    I JUST GOT A CALL FROM MRS IDUBOR. THEIR LAWYER *STILL* HASN’T GOTTEN A COPY OF THE COURT DECISION YET. APPARENTLY, ACCORDING TO THEIR LAWYER, THE JUDGE IS WITHHOLDING IT FOR AWHILE, IN ORDER TO LET THE POSSIBLE FUROR DIE DOWN A BIT (MRS IDUBOR’S OPINION). I’VE NEVER HEARD OF THIS SORT OF THING HAPPENING BEFORE, BUT THERE YOU GO.

    MEANWHILE, MR IDUBOR IS WORKING ON WRITING DOWN HIS VERSION OF EVENTS. IT’S AT 80 PAGES AND COUNTING. HOWEVER, MRS IDUBOR IS ONLY ALLOWED TO GET ABOUT SEVEN PAGES A DAY WHENEVER SHE VISITS, WHICH IS ALMOST DAILY.

    MR IDUBOR STILL HAS RECEIVED NO MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR HIS SKIN PROBLEMS, AND HIS JAIL CELL IS NOT HEATED. WE’RE HOPING TO GET AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S ATTENTION DRAWN TO THIS CASE. BUT IT’S HARD TO WHEN WE DON’T HAVE A COURT DECISION TO CITE. AHA. ARUDOU DEBITO

    16 Responses to “Nigerian Idubor loses criminal suit, sentenced to three years for rape despite no material evidence”

    1. 1TruthTeller Says:

      During the IRA bomb campaigns in London UK there was a saying in the resident Irish Community: “Innocent until proven Irish.”

      It would appear that we could use a version of that saying here in late 2007 going into 2008 Japan: “Innocent until proven foreign.”

      Regrettably, no matter how many of us became naturalized Japanese citizens, our appearance would still make us “foreigners” and I doubt anything will change that here in our lifetime. I FEEL unwelcome now, on a daily basis. I have chosen to permanently depart within the next six months because of this unwelcoming aspect of “modern, international” Japan. They have a “life sentence” to live here. I am choosing to have a “life elsewhere” instead.

    2. Greg M Says:

      That is just wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong.
      At times like this words seem to fail to fully describe the injustice done to not just one human being, but all those involved in this case.
      With each passing day, the reasons to pack it up and leave are mounting. Now more than ever Japan seems more than willing to turn themselves into a country of part-time job-hopping old geezers with no international economic influence or importance.

    3. TJJ Says:

      I am curious to see a copy of the decision and hope that someone will post it online eventually. Mainly I want to know if any smoking gun was eventually produced by the proescution, or whether it was simply a “he said/she said” contest.

      I feel very sorry for Mrs. Idubor and their family and hope they can be strong for the appeal.

    4. Alien Says:

      1TruthTeller wrote:

      “I FEEL unwelcome now, on a daily basis. I have chosen to permanently depart within the next six months because of this unwelcoming aspect of “modern, international” Japan.”

      Sadly, that may be precisely what xenophobic Japan wants: fewer foreigners by whatever means necessary.

    5. Kimpatsu Says:

      If anyone is interested, there’s also the Nick Baker case, remember.
      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NTN/is_49/ai_110807931/pg_1

    6. Kimpatsu Says:

      Could I ask, what exactly were the “reasons” given by the judge? The ones that raised laughs of incredulity from the gallery?

    7. Grant Mahood Says:

      What a travesty of justice. It seems like the judge was only “looking out for number one” – himself. Imagine the criticism he would face for keeping a man in prison for a year if he WASN’T judged guilty. Now all he has to worry about is having his ruling overturned by a higher court. Big deal. He’s off the hook.
      Words fail.

      Grant Mahood

    8. Charles Says:

      This is wrong on every level. This is a serious tragedy on every level imaginable, but to leave(…and I believe in everyone’s freedom to choose and do what is right for them)this is just Exactly what they want, they want to scare, intimidate, deny us of our basic rights and on and on…if we don’t take a stand sooner or later(sooner is coming quickly)we will all lose everything and we can’t allow that to happen, most of us are law-abiding citizens, we work, pay taxes and many of us have families here.
      To leave…at least for myself is unacceptable! This is so reminiscent of the “civil rights” era and what my parents went through…and they went through a great ordeal, trust me on this one. This is the reason why it hits too close to home for me this situation, so I can’t let it go and leave. Yes, change is not often easy, but together as a group, it can be done…I know it can be done, how long it takes is anyone’s guess, but the point is we are trying and you have to make a start somewhere. This story is very depressing as well as disturbing, I agree, but let’s hope he can appeal his case. Any ideas as to what the chances are that the Judges will hear his appeal or for that matter, what is the appeals process like for foreigners in Japan, anyone know?

    9. jon Says:

      When you say “no material evidence”, do you mean the case and the conviction was based solely on witness testimony such as that of the apparent victim?

      If the assumption that this is a travesty of justice and that the accused is innocent, does that mean that the only conclusion we can come to was that the alleged victim is outright lying?

    10. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      Jon, that is the conclusion that we have to come to.

      If someone has a transcript of this decision, please do post it.

      Were people forcibly ejected from the courtroom for laughing at the judge, or were they allowed to stay?

      Also, is the accuser from a powerful or otherwise-connected family? Is there some reason why her word would be believed outright without any evidence at all?

      –I’LL GET THE COURT TRANSCRIPT ASAP. I’M ON THE ROAD RIGHT NOW, CAN’T DO MUCH UNTIL I GET BACK TO SAPPORO TOMORROW AND GET THE DECISION SENT/FAXED TO ME. I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO ANYONE’S QUESTIONS DEFINITIVELY AT THIS TIME–I’M ONLY REPORTING WHAT I HEARD AND REFERRING TO PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES (LINKED FROM THE COVER OF THIS BLOG ENTRY) ABOUT THE LACK OF MATERIAL EVIDENCE. SORRY. DEBITO IN TOKYO

    11. TJJ Says:

      Just another question – in cases of alleged rape is it always the case that the victim’s name is not released? Or is it a case-by-case basis?

    12. Jean-Paul Says:

      Still waiting on those transcripts.

      –I HAVEN’T RECEIVED THEM YET FROM MR IDUBOR’S LAWYER. GOT A MESSAGE FROM HIM LAST NIGHT THAT HE HADN’T GOTTEN THEM YET FROM THE COURT. HE’LL SEND THEM ON TO ME AS SOON AS HE CAN.

      MEANWHILE, KINDLY ADOPT A LESS HARSH DEMEANOR. I AM A VOLUNTEER DOING THIS, AND NOT IN YOUR EMPLOY. ASKING NICELY COSTS YOU NOTHING.

    13. Jean-Paul Says:

      I think that you are mistaking a brief post for a harsh one.

      –SORRY, BUT THE WRITER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY. AND YOU’RE HARDLY MAKING UP FOR IT WITH THIS POST. IT’S END-YEAR, AND EVERYONE’S A BIT FRAYED, SO TRY A BIT HARDER PLEASE. DEBITO

    14. Trans-Pacific Radio » Japan Joins the UN, Still has Hurdles to Face in Living Up to Its Obligations :: Independent Podcasts from Tokyo, Japan - Japanese News, Politics, Business and Economy Says:

      […] Relevant to all of the above are the cases of Osayuwamen Idubor, Mr. Valentine, or Mr. Ishikawa of the infamous Sayama case. Article 12. […]

    15. debito Says:

      =====================
      –UPDATE DEC 18

      I JUST GOT A CALL FROM MRS IDUBOR. THEIR LAWYER *STILL* HASN’T GOTTEN A COPY OF THE COURT DECISION YET. APPARENTLY, ACCORDING TO THEIR LAWYER, THE JUDGE IS WITHHOLDING IT FOR AWHILE, IN ORDER TO LET THE POSSIBLE FUROR DIE DOWN A BIT (MRS IDUBOR’S OPINION). I’VE NEVER HEARD OF THIS SORT OF THING HAPPENING BEFORE, BUT THERE YOU GO.

      MEANWHILE, MR IDUBOR IS WORKING ON WRITING DOWN HIS VERSION OF EVENTS. IT’S AT 80 PAGES AND COUNTING. HOWEVER, MRS IDUBOR IS ONLY ALLOWED TO GET ABOUT SEVEN PAGES A DAY WHENEVER SHE VISITS, WHICH IS ALMOST DAILY.

      MR IDUBOR STILL HAS RECEIVED NO MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR HIS SKIN PROBLEMS, AND HIS JAIL CELL IS NOT HEATED. WE’RE HOPING TO GET AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S ATTENTION DRAWN TO THIS CASE. BUT IT’S HARD TO WHEN WE DON’T HAVE A COURT DECISION TO CITE. AHA. ARUDOU DEBITO

    16. To hell with Japan Says:

      Listen people. This isn’t the first case of the Japanese fouled legal system nor the last. Anyone with half a brain should know that you are taking huge risks when you leave your own country. Japan is a facade, it just looks like a civilized country which is attractive to many people who don’t do their homework. But if the harrassment, and discrimination as well as the archaic work environment is not enough to send you home, hopefully Mr. Idubor’s plight will cause you to reflect and realize what you are potentially facing. The Japanese government are intellectual barbarians. You would have thought that WWII would have taught them something about human rights. Get out while you can because they don’t want us here and we are powerless to change. Don’t believe me? What year is it? How long have they had a chance to change? I can’t wait for the US recession that will bring this Godforsaken country to its knees. Good luck Mr. Idubor. May your suffering bring attention to this evil country.

      –THIS MESSAGE WAS RIGHT ON THE EDGE OF BEING DELETED FOR ITS INVECTIVE. BUT I BELIEVE THE AUTHOR SINCERELY WISHES TO ENCOURAGE THE IDUBORS IN THEIR TIME OF NEED, SO I’LL APPROVE IT FOR THE TIME BEING. IF IT IGNITES A FLAME WAR, THEN I’LL REMOVE IT AND THE FLAMES.

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