Sexual Harassment Claim In Ogun : Underage Girl, Father Back Off - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Monday, January 4, 2021

Sexual Harassment Claim In Ogun : Underage Girl, Father Back Off

The 16-year-old girl, Miss Melojuekun Barakat, who claimed to be  student of Victory Model College in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the state and her father, Melojuekun Adesola Mansur, have resolved to put to rest, the allegation of sexual harassment against the state Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun  Abudu - Balogun. 

Miss Barakat had in a viral video alleged that Hon. Abudu  - Balogun attempted to sexually harass her after she was lured into his house by him. 

The underage girl claimed  that the former Reps member fondled with her breasts and that her screaming compelled the commissioner to stop but Abudu - Balogun refuted the allegation, saying it was "pure political blackmail" concocted by his political "adversaries."

In denying the allegation, the Environment Commissioner said the girl was teleguided to make the sexual harassment video, stating emphatically that he never attempted to sexually harrass the girl or anyone else.

However, Barakat, in a related video backed off from her earlier sexual harassment claim and appealed to Nigerians to allow the matter be laid to rest.

She noted that though there were “few misconceptions and misunderstanding” between her and the commissioner.

“My name is Melojuekun Barakat. You can recall that I was the lady in the viral video on sexual harassment by the commissioner for environment in Ogun state. I am using this opportunity to thank all meaningful Nigerians that showed their support and love towards this matter.

“I want you to know that there were few misconceptions and misunderstanding between I and the commissioner. I want to use this opportunity to appeal to meaningful Nigerians to please allow this matter to rest," she said.
Also, her father, Melojuekun Adesola Mansur, in a similar video walked the same path as the daughter did, saying the family would love to lay the matter to rest.
                •Melojuekun Adesola
While commending the media, the international community and Nigerians for their support since the sexual harassment issue was first reported, Melojuekun said he was not interested in the matter again and urged Nigerians to support their latest stance on it. 

“I want to thank the media for their doggedness and aggressive support to make sure that justice prevails. I am also using this opportunity to thank the international community, well meaning Nigerians and Ogun state indigenes that showed their love to this matter.

“However, I understand there are some misconceptions and misunderstandings along the line between my daughter and the honorable commissioner. Having discovered this, I deem it fit to come to the public and inform Nigerians and the international community that this matter should be allowed to be laid to rest.

“As a father to Barakat, I am using this opportunity as well to appeal to Nigerians and international community and the media that I don’t have interest in this matter again. I am withdrawing my case and I want them to support me the same way they did at the beginning of this matter,” he said. 

However, Ogun State Government has since suspended the Commissioner for Environment from office pending the conclusion of an independent investigation into the said allegation of sexual harassment of Barakat Mayowa Melojuekun, declaring  that it has zero tolerance for gender -based violence.

The state government in a statement on Sunday through the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, said the suspension of the Commissioner would enable him cooperate fully with the independent investigation being carried out by the Police.

“Whilst taking cognizance of the principle of a suspect being presumed innocent until proven guilty and the public statement issued by Hon. 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 Prince Dapo Abiodun Administration to fairness, equity, justice and the rule of law, no matter who is involved,” the statement read.

The government also assured the public that "it will do everything to ensure that justice is served in this case. In the meantime, the suspended Commissioner has been directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment." 

Meanwhile,  the State Criminal Intelligence  and Investigation Department (SCIID) has taken over the investigation of the sexual harassment claim against the Commissioner for Environment in Ogun state,  Hon. Abiodun  Abudu - Balogun.

Investigation into the case was first launched by the Area Commander for Ogbere  Police Area Command shortly after the sexual harassment video went viral at the weekend but the case was transferred to the SCIID on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun.

The Police Public Relations  Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent  of Police(DSP), disclosed that the SCIID would take over the investigation of the matter as of Monday, yesterday,  from  Ogbere Police Area Command for thorough investigation.

Abimbola said the outcome would be made known to the public at the appropriate time when it is concluded, explaining  that the victim’s father has no power to abort a process the Police had commenced on the matter. 
“The father of the victim has no loco standi for him to tell the police that he’s no longer pressing charges against the commissioner because he is not our complainant.

“He is not the person that was directly involved in the case. The victim is his daughter and even the daughter herself cannot withdraw the case because she is underage.

“Secondly, the case is an offence committed against the state, so they are no longer complainants, it is the commissioner of police versus the suspect.

“They are just witnesses in the case. So the police are going on with investigations to confirm the authenticity of the claims.

“The CP has directed that the case should be transferred to the State CID for proper investigations, so their position is immaterial.

“We cannot conclude that the case will be charged to court until when we confirm that the offence was actually committed. If the offence was actually committed, we will not hesitate to charge it to court and see the case to a logical conclusion,” Abimbola said. 

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