Ogun State government has suspended the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, from office pending the conclusion of an independent investigation into an allegation of sexual harassment of a 16-year old Barakat Mayowa Melojuekun.
It would be recalled that in a viral video on Saturday, the 16-yea- old SS3 student of Victory Model College, Abigi, had alleged that the Commissioner sexually harassed her while she was in his house on December 31, 2020
A statement on Sunday by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, said the suspension of the Commissioner was to 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 continued.
The government assures 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, the statement concluded.
She had said that she was brought to the house of Hon Abiodun Abudu-Balogun at Ibiade in Ogun Waterside local government area of the state by her uncle, one Mr Saheed Lasisi aka Mayor who had told her that the former federal lawmaker was in need of people who could operate computer just like her.
The Commissioner in swift response had, however, denied the allegation, describing it as pure falsehood and calculated attempt to dent his hard-earned reputation by his political adversaries.
He had among other things said that he was reputed for using his political career to empower the youths and not to molest or sexually harass any one of them.
Hon. Abudu-Balogun had claimed that the young girl had come with her uncle to look for job as a Computer operator as he was about rehabilitating the ICT Centre he had constructed in the town while serving as the federal lawmaker some years back.
He had insisted that other people were with him while he was attending to Barakat and that he never in any guise behaved in such a way to have added any bite to all the allegations levelled against him by the young girl in the viral video.