The Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun has been suspended by the Ogun state government for sexually molesting a 16years old girl, identified as Barakat Mayowa Melojuekun.
According to reports, Mr Abudu-Balogun was suspended on Sunday from office over an allegation of sexual harassment.
In a statement, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tokunbo Talabi, declared the suspension of the commissioner pending the conclusion of an independent investigation into the allegation.
“Whilst taking cognisance of the principle of a suspect being presumed innocent until proven guilty and the public statement issued by Honourable Abudu-Balogun denying the allegation, as a government with zero tolerance for gender-based violence and indeed any criminality, the suspension is a further demonstration of the commitment of Dapo Abiodun administration to fairness, equity, justice and the rule of law, no matter who is involved,” the statement read.
Talabi assured the residents that the stated government would do everything necessary to ensure that justice was served in the case. The disclosed that the suspended commissioner has been directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary at the State Ministry of Environment.
Kemi Filani News recalls that Barakat Mayowa, a 16 years old girl, called out the Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abdul-Balogun, for sexually harassing her.
According to her, the immoral act allegedly occurred at Ita Otu, Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the state.
Mayowa recounted that the sexual harassment occurred on Thursday, December 31, in the commissioner’s apartment.
Mayowa insisted that he allegedly fondled her breasts and muttered incantations while she screamed and struggled to free herself from his grip.
According to Sahara Reporters, in her confession to the police at the Abigi Division, the victim narrated that the commissioner’s aides lured her to his house and to his bedroom.
She added that the commissioner came in and locked the door.
In the video recording, believably done by a police investigator and obtained by SaharaReporters, the victim, a Senior Secondary School 3 student, added that the commissioner allegedly caressed her body, while offering her money.
She said she resisted the money and screamed, before she was eventually allowed to go.
Mayowa said, “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.”
The teenager narrated further that the commissioner tried to entice her with money to get a chance to sleep with her but she resisted.
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.”