Ogun Suspends Commissioner Over Alleged Sexual Harassment Of 16-Year-Old Girl (Video)
Ogun Suspends Commissioner Over Alleged Sexual Harassment Of 16-Year-Old Girl
Ogun State Government has suspended the Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, from office pending the conclusion of an independent investigation into an allegation of sexual harassment of a 16-year-old girl, Barakat Mayowa Melojuekun.
Few days ago, Miss Melojuekun, in a Facebook video post that has since gone viral, alleged that Abudu-Balogun connived with her uncle and a teacher from another secondary school to lure her to his house, where he allegedly sexually harassed her by touching her breasts.
Thereafter, the commissioner released a statement denying the allegation, describing the viral video as “teleguided” and “political blackmail by my adversaries”.
However, in a statement issued on Sunday from Abeokuta, Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, announced the suspension of Abudu-Balogun.
He explained that the suspension of the Commissioner was to enable him cooperate fully with the independent investigation being carried out by the Police.
His statement partly reads;
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.
Talabi assured the residents that the state government would do everything necessary to ensure that justice was served in the case.
He disclosed that the suspended commissioner has been directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary at the State Ministry of Environment.
How The Alleged Incident Happened
On December 29, Miss Melojuekun, who is in SSS 3, said she was waiting at Idi Ade motorcycle taxi park in Ogun Waterside Local Government area for a motorcycle to take her to National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) registration centre when the commissioner saw her while driving by.
She alleged Abdul-Balogun stopped and offered her a lift but she rejected the offer as well as his request for her phone number, saying;
I didn’t know that he was commissioner. He said he knew me but I said I hadn’t met him before.
Miss Melojuekun claimed after she left, Abdul-Balogun got her telephone number from her friend she had been with.
The student alleged;
My friend whom he pressured after I left the park sent my number to him. While at the NIMC registration centre, somebody called me and introduced himself as an aide to the commissioner. He said his boss wanted to see me but I told him I was busy trying to register for the NIN.
The 16-year-old student said the aide called her again at night and told her the commissioner would love to host her in his residence the following day, December 30, 2020 but she declined the invitation.
Miss Melojuekun, who lives with her grandmother, added that the commissioner eventually got her attention on new year’s eve through her uncle.
The commissioner’s aide later reached me through my father’s elder brother who is also a popular figure in the area. He is called Mr Lasisi. I can’t say whether he knew his intention or not though.
He (her uncle) told my grandmother that someone needed a computer operator and asked me to dress corporately so he could take me there. He then took me to the commissioner’s house and asked me to wait at the gate.
By the time I got inside, I saw someone who claimed to be the aide of the commissioner who had been calling me. He said I should follow him to where the computer was and I did.
Miss Melojuekun claimed he instead took her Abdul-Balogun’s bedroom, stressing;
Immediately the commissioner came into the room, his aide left and he locked the door and kept the key in his pocket. He asked for my school and class and I told him I am in SS3.
The commissioner then asked if I was interested in any business and I said no. He asked if I have new year clothes and I said yes. He kept asking me what I needed and I told him nothing.
He asked if I would collect a cash gift from him and I said I would. He then started pushing me onto the bed and pressing my breasts while chanting incantations. So I started shouting on top of my voice.
She alleged that the commissioner became afraid that the people downstairs in his house for a political meeting would hear her scream, so he left her.
Miss Melojuekun in the video claimed;
He jumped off me and brought out the key from his pocket. He offered me N2,000 but I rejected it. He locked the door again and threatened not to let me go until I collected the money. I collected it and he pushed me out of the room.
She expressed that she reported the incident to her parents who in turn reported the case at the police station.
Watch the video of her recounting her experience below;