“Character assassination is at once easier and surer than physical
assault; and it involves far less risk for the assassin. It leaves him
free to commit the same deed over and over again, and may indeed win him
the honors of a hero in the country of his victims.” – Alan Barth (1906
On the 19TH of May, 2017, I received a letter from one Rafiu Bello
acting on behalf of one Daniella Madudu accusing me of appropriation of
an “original literary work” that was allegedly stolen from her by Ms.
Joy Ndidi (an allegation that has been roundly refuted), copyright
infringement and all manner of impropriety as relates my movie ‘DRY’ and
demanding that I credit this Daniella Madudu with ownership of my work,
pay the sum of N60,000,000 (SIXTY MILLION NAIRA) and royalties; or face
a “campaign of calumny”(which by the way is already afoot) both home
Naturally, my initial reaction was to ignore it as something so
ludicrous as to be able to find firm footing in the mind of any normal
or rightly thinking individual and only routinely passed it onto my
lawyers at a later date and thought nothing more of it. They (my
lawyers), as a matter of course responded to it.
That these persons have since gone ahead with their premeditated plan to
defame me upon allegations they know to be baseless, spurious and
glaringly untrue is no longer news as the media is presently awash with
the ‘fruit of their labour’ and ordinarily I would not have dignified it
with a response but for the sake of posterity and lest my silence be
termed an admission of any wrongdoing whatsoever, I will simply proceed
to state the facts here, viz:
since my undergraduate days at the University of Calabar, I have been
very passionate and deeply concerned about Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF),
the plight of the girl-child and sexual violence against the female
in 2006 whilst still on crutches as a result of my ghastly automobile
accident from the year before, I volunteered with the Mercy Ships
Aberdeen West Africa Fistula Centre (as it then was) in Sierra Leone all
out of my own personal savings as this was and will always be a cause
very dear to my heart.
in 2007/08 I visited the Mariam Abacha Women and Children’s Hospital,
Sokoto where I personally made donations to the victims of VVF.
in 2008 I was invited by The United Nations and the Government of
Liberia to participate in the anti-rape campaign, Stop Rape and the
Liberia Fistula Project.
through my non-governmental organisation, The Extended Hands Foundation
and our numerous partners, over 150 women and young ladies across the
country have successfully undergone reconstructive surgery and have gone
on to live wholesome fulfilling lives free of the stigmatization and
the sheer pain and discomfort that comes with VVF.
• That I registered the script for my movie ‘DRY’ with The United States Copyright Office on November 28TH, 2011.
• That I registered the script for my movie ‘DRY’ with The Nigerian Copyright Commission on July 27TH, 2012.
• That my movie ‘DRY’ was shot in the months of August and September, 2012 in Nigeria.
• That the unofficial trailer for ‘DRY’ was released to lend my voice in support of the ‘Child Not Bride’ campaign.
• That Ms.
Joy Ndidi’s first ever contact with me was in 2013 (DRY was already a
finished project at this time) and it was not until June 2013 that she
was officially engaged to provide content and ad-placement for my
personal blog, ‘The Stephanie Daily’ for all of six (6) months and this
she did from the comfort of her home.
the so called “original literary work” of the Daniella Madudu, I was
supposed to have appropriated in my movie has never been registered at
The Nigerian Copyright Commission even as we speak.
These are easily verifiable facts that any half-hearted attempt at
investigative and responsible journalism would have turned up if indeed
uncovering the truth for the benefit of the public was the primary
motive behind the malicious publication.
It is truly a sorry pass we have come to as society when all it takes to
ruin a person’s reputation overnight is the spewing forth of mere
accusations just because he or she happens to be in the public eye.
I choose to speak out and address this vice that has suddenly become the
norm in our society and the acceptable standard of modern day
“journalism”. We used to be better than this as a people; my prayer is
that we still are.
DRY is more than just a movie; it is a righteous cause for voiceless
women and young girls who have suffered the most debilitating kind of
emotional and physical abuse, and anyone who seeks to denigrate this
painful sacrifice with a smear campaign, with the intent to make gain or
attract cheap publicity, simply lacks wisdom.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all those that have shown
tremendous support and spoken up these past few days to end these words
the same way it began.
“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor
does the truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even
if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.” Mahatma Gandhi