Writer apologises to lady over kissing without consent

Chijioke-Amun-Nnadi

As if it was in a literary plot, award-winning writer, Chijioke Amun-Nnadi, on Tuesday, apologised to a lady who accused him of forcefully kissing her.

An Abuja-based freelance writer, Miracle Adebayo, had on Monday accused Amun-Nnadi of harassment, saying the incident happened in November 2014, during the Ake Arts and Book Festival held in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Amun-Nnadi, who works with the Niger Delta Development Commission, is a prolific and popular writer whose collections of poems, including Through the Window of a Sandcastle and A Field of Echoes, are well acclaimed. Apart from winning the Association of Nigerian Authors prize, he has also been a finalist of the Nigeria Prize for Literature.

Adebayo noted that the Port Harcourt-based poet had committed the act while she was in his car.

She wrote, “I was in his car with two other people. He specifically asked that I sit in the front seat while we drove to get food and I didn’t object because I saw no big deal in it.

“Along the road, we stopped for the other occupants to get something from a shop. In those few minutes, Amun-Nnadi, a man I thought I could trust, forcefully kissed me. I was so stunned and repulsed I couldn’t speak.”

While some people wondered why it took Adebayo two years before speaking out, some two other ladies also later posted messages narrating similar experiences with the writer.

It was, however, a sober Amun-Nnadi that, on Tuesday morning, apologised to the accusers in a Facebook message.

He wrote, “My dear friends and colleagues, I have read and heard a lot that has been said about how my manner of interaction with some younger female writers within our literary commune has been quite inappropriate. With sincerity, I accept responsibility for the hurt a writer’s excesses have caused you all. I wish to humbly seek a lasting healing for all affected and all concerned because it was not my intention to hurt anyone. I truly regret this. I am deeply sorry and I apologise without reservation to all affected. Do forgive. Thank you all for reading and for your understanding.”

PUNCH.

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