3rd January, 2021
By Adejoke Adeleye
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has suspended the Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun for alleged sexual harassment of a 16-year old girl.
A 16-year-old girl, Barakat Melojuekun, in a Facebook video post that has now gone viral alleged that the commissioner connived with her uncle and a teacher from another secondary school to lure her to his house, where he sexually harassed her by touching her breasts.
The commissioner, however, denied the allegations in a statement he issued, describing the video as “teleguided” and “political blackmail by my adversaries.”
But a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, on Sunday said the suspension of Abudu-Balogun was to allow for thorough investigation of the matter.
According to the statement, while 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 of the commissioner is a further demonstration of the commitment of Abiodun administration to fairness, equity, justice and the rule of law, no matter who is involved.
It added that the government assured the public that it would do everything to ensure that justice was served in this case.
The statement said the suspended Commissioner had been directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment.