The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) has suspended a Nollywood actor, Moses Armstrong, for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl.
Like his colleague, James Olanrewaju, also known as Baba Ijesha, Mr Armstrong is the second Nigerian actor to be entangled in an alleged rape case with a minor.
Mr Armstrong was arrested by the operatives of the Nigerian Police Force, In Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The actor, a former aide to the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, was also arraigned before a Magistrate court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Friday.
Mr Armstrong was arraigned on charges of “rape” and “threat to life”.
The judge, Samuel Ukoima, struck out a remand application filed by the Akwa Ibom State Government against the actor and ordered the actor to be rearrested and taken back to the cell.
However, amidst his legal battle, the embattled actor has been indefinitely suspended by the National Executive Committee of the Actors Guild of Nigeria over his arrest by the police on the allegation of raping a minor.
A statement, signed by the AGN Director of Communications and actress, Monalisa Chinda, stated that the actor has been suspended from acting and the guild’s activities.
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According to the statement, the indefinite suspension became necessary following the investigation of the guild concerning the alleged rape incident.
The statement reads in part, “Actors Guild of Nigeria has been in the forefront of advocacy against violation of women, such as rape, molestation and all form of abuse; therefore, the allegation against Moses Armstrong is capable of tarnishing the good image and reputation of our noble Guild if the constitutional provisions of the Guild do not take urgent action.”
“In a suspension letter signed by the Ejezie Emeka Rollas, the actor’s suspension was based on facts emanating from the preliminary investigations conducted by the Guild on the allegation.”
The statement also noted that the suspension is a sad development, but nobody is above the law, especially on rape and abuse of women.
“Though we must protect our members when it comes to serious allegations, the law will have to take its course.”
According to AGN’s statement, while on suspension, the actor is not expected to participate in any film production or Guild activities.
” The National/State Chapter Task Forces have been mandated to monitor all film locations, and production sets in the country as a violation of the suspension rules may lead to further stiff disciplinary measures as stipulated by the AGN constitution,” the statement read.
The Akwa Ibom State-born actor, who started his career 23 years ago, lost his wife, Rita, in 2018.
The mother-of-two was returning to her husband’s residence in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, from Lagos when the Akwa Ibom Transport Company (AKTC) bus conveying her was involved in a ghastly crash at the Ugbogui axis of Benin Ore Lagos Expressway.
The deceased, a Nollywood actress, died from spinal cord injuries sustained during the accident.
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