The Sugabelly Timeline - Updated

By now most Nigerians should have heard of Sugabelly and her account of rape at the hands of Mustapha Audu and his friends and family. She revealed everything on Friday the 27th of November.

I didn't know how to report it. I didn't break the story, and any attempts to rewrite the post she called Surviving Mustapha and his Rape Brigade seemed senseless to me. I was seeking to add value to the conversation. Her account was already so clear and stark that it demanded empathy immediately. I would be lying if I said that I did not believe her. In spite of my empathy, I could not do what several others did. I could not declare his guilt before it had been proven irrevocably.

I could however perform a task that several others would be unwilling to do, simply because of its magnitude. Sugabelly began her blog in January 2007, and her first post was about meeting her alleged assailant. I could crawl through her blog, post by post and create a loose timeline for her version of events.

In this I won't offer an opinion for what is an opinion but tumbleweed in a field? To condemn him would be to contribute to the assassination of his character without being completely sure about his guilt. And to treat her words as lies would be to deny everything about me that is human. Her pain causes me pain. If what she alleges is true it would mean that she carried this weight on her own for eight years. It is a burden that I do not think I could bear.

Of course there are arguments that lend their strength to the veracity of her story. It is hard to believe that she schemed for eight years to achieve this end. It is also hard to believe that she would embrace a country's worth of cyber bullying for fame. This is the sort of infamy that will kill you long before you can enjoy any of its benefits. We are Nigerian. Our numbers are many. Any percentage of us is an army.

I felt it important to know what happened as it happened, so that I could make sense of it. If I could say that this happened in January, and this in March, and this in April, then I would know what to ask if I ever got the chance to talk to either of them.

A lot of it reads like a series of unfortunate events. Her love for him is clear, but even clearer is the torment that he causes. It is very well written. I could have enjoyed it if it were not her truth. It starts in January 2007 and continues until July 2010. They meet several times in person between January 2007 and April 2008. The last time she writes about sleeping with him as if it is something that just happened is the 8th of April 2008. Between April 8th and July 2010 she struggles with the experience. She writes like she's fine for months at a time, then she learns that he's nominated for a Future Award and she slumps again. She's broken after phone calls and email exchanges. She writes repeatedly that he was her first. She writes repeatedly that he thinks she's a liar and a cheat.

It isn't until this year that she names her all of her alleged assaulters and abusers.

The Timeline according to

January 24th 2007: She met him, and called him Bakura. She is 17.

February 5th 2007: This was the first time that they had sex according to Sugabelly. She reports that it was not explicitly consensual.

'we drove around Maitama until we found a dark street. I was so nervous, I almost couldn't breathe... and I unbuttoned my shirt and let you touch me... I told you I couldn't have sex with you and you said"'s okay. We're not going to have sex... yet." ...But we did, and I was sore afterwards, the inside of my thighs hurt and it was painful to touch myself.

February 6th 2007: Sugabelly writes that he took her out for Shawarma.

This is important because the Mustapha said in his interview that the first time they went out for shawarma at 212 was some time after her birthday on the 22nd of March. 

February 9th 2007: Sugabelly writes that she was molested by younger members of Mustapha's family.
 "your  little brothers? came and sat on my lap, and I swear they molested me... the younger one had his hand in my bra when you came back down the stairs and ordered them to run to Islamiyya."

She writes that they had sex in his car, on a different street, every night that week. 

March 1st 2007: Sugabelly, writes that she's addicted to poisonous guys. She also writes that she'll be 18 in a few weeks, and that she will be nauseous for a month because of medicine that she's taking. The tags on the post are Bakura (her pseudonym for Mustapha), fear, and HIV.

This led me to wonder if she was writing about Post-Exposure Prophlaxis, where those who've been exposed to HIV go on a 28 day course of emergency anti-retroviral treatment. The side effects include nausea.

March 24th 2007: Sugabelly writes that Mustapha did not show up for her birthday. He acknowledged this in his interview with scoop. It is clear that she has feelings for him. She introduces the phrase, "my little beast-whore."

April 20th 2007: Sugabelly writes that she and Mustapha are in a relationship of some sort. She also writes that she is afraid to incur his wrath, and that he yells, shouts and pushes her. The phrase, "my little beast whore" appears again. She writes, "aren't you... my little beast whore... cute?"

She writes in another post on the same day, "So Elwe, what happened? Did I make love to you and you not notice? Or was it not painful enough? Maybe I didn’t let you hit me hard enough, and so, you sulk. Maybe I didn’t cry, and so you felt I wasn’t a good girl."

"Elwe Singollo, King of Pain.
His Queen of Bruises, me."

The first incident of abuse?
Elwe Singollo, another name for Mustapha.

April 30th 2007: This is the first time that she explicitly writes about sexual assault.

"I never knew it would be so hard. And that the fear would be so paralyzing. I kept trying to throw him, off, and I just couldn’t. He was forcing my legs apart, and I was so afraid. So I bit him. Bit hard, anywhere I could get, until I tasted blood. And still he had his arm wrapped around my neck. And with one hand fingered me. Vile creature."

She alleges that Mustapha was in the parlour and that he should have heard her scream, but that he did not come.

She also alleges that Mustapha said that it was not rape.

"I stood before him in shame, the bite his cousin had given me in retaliation swelling rapidly on my nose. And he said it was not rape."

Is the cousin Bashir or Jibril?

May 2nd 2007: She writes again about a possible assault.

"There was blood everywhere, but I was not surprised. I just hoped it wouldn’t last as long as I expected. It didn’t. And I was relieved. But I hurt inside. He did this to me. But I let him. I let him because I wanted him to be there, no matter what. And he was. And he hurt me as much as he possibly could for it."

May 2nd 2007: She writes that she went to her doctor. He said that if "it"continued, he'd have to make a police report. She writes that she has internal injuries, and that the bite on her nose referenced on the 30th of April will heal. She gets a swab test and he advises counselling.

"The point is.. I need a way to break away. Like the doctor said. One day, he will hold a knife to my throat and it will be too late

"One day, it will be too much at once, and one of us will break. It is most likely me. I can already feel my walls cracking."

May 5th 2007: She writes that they (she doesn't say who) flirt with another woman and that she and Mustapha sleep with her. She writes about his anger too. It's an anger so great that it forces her to hide.

May 6th 2007: "I must hate you. Or it will kill me. And I want to survive this. I hate you. Fucking whore. The both of you. Whores, all of you. Please save me... Elwe Singollo, King of Pain
His Queen of Bruises, me."

May 17th 2007: "And if you suggest something, it sounds great. Bakura. I want to type it over and over again. It helps this pain you see. Because I have these images of you touching her. You were both naked, and I hated her and loved you at the same time. And the only way I could tell myself it was not a nightmare was to touch her too. And when I felt that she was real, I had to hurt her. I’m sorry if it upset you. I don’t know what you wanted. Me to make love to her too perhaps? With you? Us, together?"

She names him in this post. It is her sign off.

"Mustapha Audu, King of Pain
His Queen of Bruises, me."

May 30th 2007: The time between the 6th and the 30th is explained. He told her to get out. She writes that these words were perhaps the cruelest he'd ever said. She congratulates him for the pain they caused. "M is for Monster. M is for Molester"

June 1st 2007: She likens him to a sailor because he allegedly cheats wherever he finds himself. She considers cutting herself: doing something to make the pain visible.

"God, when will it stop? When will it end? How is this fair? I never wanted the things he made me do. To turn them around and use them as leverage is hardly right. How can he hate me for what he wanted?"

This could refer to her claim that he'd made videos of her being raped. This also implies blackmail of some sort. 

November 13th 2007: She explains the break in transmission by writing that she's had a slump but she seems hopeful for the future. She's in College in the United States. Though the distance between her and Mustapha is great, her feelings for him remain.

"I have to admit, I’ve had a slump. Like a major slump. And not just in blogging, but in so many other aspects of my life. I have felt for a long time now, like more or less a semi-failure because of a lot of mistakes I made, and other circumstances. However, if at first you don’t succeed………….."

 November 13th 2007: Her optimism doesn't last long.

"Everyday, I drag myself out of bed. Put one foot in front of the other, and I trudge on. I feel so, so, very sad. For my family, because they know I;m not happy. For myself because I am so disappointed. For everything, for life, I feel so down."

January 21st - 25th 2008: Sugabelly writes that she loved it when Mustapha spanked her on the 21st of January. Mustapha replies on the 25th. He writes, "Hmmm looking forward to the next one aren't we darlin??"

This calls a part of the interview that Mustapha gave into question. In the interview he claims that the pair dated for two months, or a month and a half. It is unclear whether he says a month and a half or two months. In his message to her, it doesn't look like this is the case. It looks like there was a plan for a spanking session in the future. Of course, we do not know how Mustapha defines relationships.

February 5th 2008:  "Today I fought with a man, my man, a man I love. Not with punches, or blows exchanged and then felt, but with words, whose pain is greater. And I wounded him but his wounds wounded me deeper, and now I am the one who cries. Today I picked up the phone and called him, a thousand miles east past the sea. To hear him hurt hurt my heart to hear it, and bruised my soul that I was the cause."

February 17th 2008: "(my ex-boyfriend is coming here in a few months, and in order to win him back I can’t let him see me like this), I resorted to my last hope, my secret weapon, the BEYONCE diet."

February 26th 2008: "Bakura and I are back together….in a way. But at least now he’s confessed his love for me, and I’m beside myself and blushing."

April 8th 2008: There were posts fraught with longing and suspicion of his infidelity between February and April. This time she writes about more abuse. It is not clear when the abuse happened.

"And then he woke, and hit me, over and over again. Then he pushed me away from him and threatened to put me out of his house naked like a dog, if I came near him again. I heard myself sob silently on the far side of his bed, felt my heart break over and over again."

April 14th 2008: This is when she decides that she's done with him and that she's moving on.

"It is finished with Bakura. My heart fights against it with all its might. But I am stronger than my heart. I will sit on it if needs be. Lock it away out of sight where no one shall ever lay hands on it again – man or woman."

"It is over. I cried like I was dying."

"And when you come in May, don’t bother sending that ticket. Because I won’t honour your invitation. You said if you’re here or I am wherever you are, we can fuck. But that’s all you can give me. Thanks for wanting me so badly Bakura. Thanks for not being proud enough of me to be honest with everyone about your relationship. I don’t want to be your dirt poor secret anymore. You can keep your sex; I bought a dildo last night."

May 14th 2008: It isn't as over as she thought or hoped. She hears that he's at his girlfriend's in London, and she's gutted.

"He promised me. Promised me he would come. A long time ago I told him I wasn’t sure that he loved me, and he looked at me with pain in his eyes. He said he was sad that I felt that way. I’m sad. Forlorn really. Baby, I loved you more than I have loved anything else. I thought about you every single moment we were apart. I spent nights counting down the days.. waiting for you.. dreaming dreams about seeing you again. I feel so, so sad. I have no words to describe what I feel. My head hurts, my heart hurts."

October 17th 2008:

"I think about him, and I wonder if he thinks about me, or wonders who I’m with. I wish he was a good person so I could love him unreservedly and forget about the consequences.
… But he’s not."

September 29th 2009: She's written about him in the time that's passed since. She's written about conversations that they've had, and how they've gone from being in love to him saying, "Leave me alone you crazy psychopath.

On this day she names him again,in a post called M is for Mustapha.

"M is for a thumping heart and goosebumps and cold shivers down my spine.
M is for secrets whispered in the dark and overdoses of Never.
M is for midnight adventures, the cool breeze, and the open star-filled sky.
M is for shoulder kisses, bite marks, and the sweetest pain.
M is for the lure of the different, the beautiful, and the forbidden.
M is for everything that might have been but now will never be.
M is for The King of Pain, Elwe Singollo and Bakura
M is for Mustapha, my little beast-whore, who alone held my heart."

July 27th 2010: This is the last time that she uses Bakura as a tag in a post that is explicitly about him. The post is titled, Bakura Called.

"…He wants me to forgive him
….He wants us to be friends
…I didn’t know what to say
…I’m afraid he’ll call again
…and I still won’t know what to say"

Notes: Details may have been lost in the transcription of this. Gaps are also present in the timeline, as Sugabelly's blog changed three times, and data was lost with each move.

The next phase of my reporting on this will be a verification of the facts. If you know something about this story that no-one else does or you know someone who may know something, drop me an email. Your anonymity's guaranteed.

All quotes are direct excerpts from

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