The Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, has denied any involvement in sexual harassment as alleged in a viral video circulating on social media.
In the video which went viral on January 1, a 16-year-old secondary school student identified as Barakat Mayowa alleged that the commissioner had sexually harassed her when she visited his home on December 31, 2020, in Ibiade town, Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the state.
Mayowa alleged that she had gone to the commissioner’s house in the company of her uncle, Mr Lasisi Saheed aka Mayor, who had informed her that the commissioner was searching for computer literates for employment.
She stated that it was while she was with the commissioner that he had attempted to rape her and was only let go after resisting and threatening to shout out for the help.
Commissioner Abudu-Balogun has however in a statement he personally signed on Saturday described the allegation as a lie and ‘political blackmail’ from his adversaries.
Abudu-Balogun, a former member of the House of Representatives, said that he has used his position to empower young people and not to sexually harass or molest them.
His statement reads: ‘On this said day, the girl was brought to my house by one of my loyalists who is her uncle, to assist her to 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 a few minutes where many of my loyalists were, people that came to visit me for the New Year. I chatted with the lady for a 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 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.’