Barakat Mayowa, a 16 year old girl stated that on Thursday, 31st December, 2020, the Ogun State commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abdul-Balogun, sexually harassed her.
The alleged crime was said to have been perpetuated in his house at Ita Otu, Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the state.
In a viral video circulating on social media, the victim, a Senior Secondary School 3 student, claimed 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.
Making an official statement to the police at the Abigi Division, the victim clearly reported that the accused commissioner muttered incantations while she screamed and struggled to free herself from his grip.
The Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 has provisions criminalising sexual harassment, making Lagos state the first state in Nigeria to make laws against sexual harassment.
Section 262(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos States 2011 provides that:
“Any person who sexually harasses another is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.”
It is commonly reported that some political figures in Nigeria usually engage in fetish and diabolical rituals, especially with young girls who are still virgins for power and influence.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner denied the allegation in a statement in Abeokuta yesterday.
Abudu-Balogun explained that he never made any attempt to sexually harass the girl.
The statement read, “My attention has been drawn to a purported video circulating on social media of a girl alleging that I attempted to sexually harass her.
“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 were, 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 harass 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 harass anyone. “I therefore plead with my fans and loyalists to be calm and not engage anyone on the said matter as it is being handled by the police and my legal team”.