Ogun State Government has suspended the Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, pending the conclusion of an independent investigation into an allegation of sexual harassment of a 16-year old girl, Barakat Mayowa Melojuekun
The government in statement signed by Tokunbo Talabi, the Secretary to the Ogun State Government, said Mr Abdul-Balogun should vacate his office pending the conclusion of police investigation into the matter. The state government assured the public that it will do everything to ensure that justice is served in the matter.
The suspension comes hours after the Nigerian press reported how the commissioner allegedly deceived the teenager into his house and attempted to rape her.
She said her screams forced Mr Abdul-Balogun to jump off her and offer her N2,000 to shut her up.
A teenager in a viral video alleged that Abudu- Balogun sexually harassed her when she visited him while looking for a job.
In the video, the girl claimed that the former federal lawmaker fondled her breasts, but Abudu-Balogun had refuted the allegations, saying “it was a pure political blackmail” made up by his political “adversaries.”
The State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) has taken over the investigation of the sexual harassment allegation against the commissioner
The investigation into the case was first started by the Area Commander for Ogbere Police Area Command less than 24 hours after a sexual harassment video went viral at the weekend, but the case has been transferred to the SCIID on the instruction of the Police Commissioner Edward Ajogun for thorough handling.
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.
In the meantime, the suspended Commissioner has been directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment,” the statement read