Ogun State commissioner under probe for alleged sexual harassment

By AdvocateNews on 03/01/2021

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Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun
Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun

The Ogun State Police Command has begun investigating the state’s Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun.

He was allegedly accused by a 16-year-old girl of sexual harassment.

Abimbola Oyeyemi, the command’s spokesperson, who reacted to a viral video of the young girl, said the commissioner was being investigated.

He said the case was presently being investigated by the Area Commander, Ogbere, and that the outcome would be made public.

The 16-year-old in a Facebook video post that has now gone viral alleged that the commissioner connived with her uncle and a teacher from another secondary school to lure her to his house, where he sexually harassed her by touching her breasts.

The commissioner, however, denied the allegations in a statement he issued.

Balogun described the video as “tele-guided” and “political blackmail by my adversaries”.

Abudu-Balogun was a member of the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015. He represented Ijebu East/Ijebu North/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency.

Meanwhile, Abudu-Balogun has denied the claim that he fondled and tried to lure a 16-year old secondary school girl to bed.

The girl, Barakat Mayowa had in a viral video alleged among others that Abudu-Balogun lured her to his home under the pretext of providing her with a job but which was a ploy to sleep with her. She claimed the commissioner fondled her, squeezed her breasts among other things.

Responding to the development, the police said that the case was being investigated by the Ogbere Area Command.

The girl had in her allegation claimed among others thus:

"What transpired between me and honourable (the commissioner) is that on December 29, which was a Tuesday, I was on my way to register for my National Identity Number. So, I came across the man who happened to be a commissioner at the Waterside Park. I was with a friend.

“So, he called me and said he knew me from somewhere. I said no, he said, maybe I resembled someone he knew. He asked where I was living and I told him. Then I left. He sent a young man after me to get my number. I said no, that my father’s elder brother stays in the park and that he should get my number from him.

“There was another Austin, a friend, who teaches at a government grammar school. They know the guy. So, the guy gave them my number. It was the commissioner who sent them to get my number.

“On December 31, one Mr Lasisi came to my grandparents’ place in the area, and said he knew someone who needed a computer operator and asked if I knew how to operate a computer. I said yes. Then he said I should get dressed and that we would go together to the place.

“When we got there, it was the honourable’s house. A lady, Maryam Odunnuga, came to pick me and took me into a living room. Mr Austin now came out and asked me to come over to a room. The honourable now came inside and Mr Austin went outside immediately.” 

Noting how the commissioner tried to woo her with money, she said:

“The honourable locked the door instantly and put the key in his pocket. So, he moved close to me and asked for the name of my school. He also asked for the amount I was paying as school fees, I replied by saying N30,000. He asked me who was paying my school fees, I told him my daddy. He said if I had thought of starting a business before going to school.

“I said I wanted to go to a higher institution. Then he said if I would need some money now, how much would I need? I said, any amount. He said I should state an amount. He now moved closer and pressed (fondled) my breasts. So, I moved his hand away. He now said won’t I cooperate. He now started pressing (fondling) my breasts and my body.

“I was struggling to free myself from him. Then he started reciting some incantations. He wanted to touch my head. I now moved his hand away so that he should not touch my head. He now wanted to force me inside his bathroom.

“But I struggled with him and started shouting. He did not want people around his house to know what was going on. He now left me and gave him four, N500 notes, that is N2,000 as my transport fare. I rejected the money.

“He said if I didn’t collect the money, he would not let me go. So, I collected it. He now asked Austin to drop me in our house. I want Nigerians to help me to take up this matter against him. This had never happened to me in my life. Right now, I am so shocked. I had never been harassed like that in my life.”

Denying the allegation of the girl in a statement, Abudu-Balogun said:

“My attention has been drawn to a purported video circulating on social media of a girl alleging that I attempted to sexually harrass her”.

“Let it be noted that in my entire life and political career, I have assisted many youth to secure jobs, some are working with me in my different businesses”.

“On this said day, the girl was brought to my house by one of my loyalists who is her Uncle, to assist her get a job as a Computer Operator at the ICT Centre I facilitated while I was serving as a member of House of Representatives years back which has been moribund”.

“But I am about to rehabilitate in order to empower more youths in our local government”. “I met her at my sitting room for few minutes where many of my loyalists are, people that came to visit me for the New Year. I chatted with the lady for few minutes and as part of my usual gesture, I gave her some amount of money for her transportation”.

“A day after, I was informed by some people that I have been alleged to have attempted to sexually harrass the girl and I should invite the family for a meeting so as to settle the matter amicably”.

“It was after my refusal to yield to their threats that they went ahead to make a teleguided video leading the lady on what to say to implicate me. This is purely a political blackmail by my adversaries”. “Let me state emphatically that I never attempted to sexually harrass anyone”.

“I therefore plead with my fans and loyalists to be calm and not engage anyone on the said matter as it is been handled by the police and my legal team”. 

Posted 03/01/2021 07:24:53 AM

 

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