By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A widow, Mrs. Mercy Ilesanmi, has accused a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Dare Pelemo, of sexual harassment and physical assault, saying Pelemo allegedly fondled her breasts on September 6 at the state Assembly complex.
Mrs Ilesanmi said miffed by the lawmakerâ€™s imperious conduct, she raised the alarm and condemned the alleged act, but the lawmaker later allegedly mobilised thugs to beat her up.
Mrs. Ilesanmi, who spoke with journalists in Ado EkitiÂ on Tuesday, said the brutality on her took place in the office of the Majority Leader, Mr. Tunji Akinyele, where she had gone to lodge a complaint on the alleged sexual harassment.
She alleged that the hoodlums gave her the beating of her life and tore her clothes to shreds.
To this end, the Legal Officer of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Ekiti, Mrs. Kemi Atitebi, disclosedÂ TuesdayÂ that the body received a complaint of sexual harassment and assault from Mrs. Ilesanmi against Pelemo.
Atitebi added that the lawmaker allegedly foiled the mediating process by shunning the invitation to come and defend himself against the allegation.
“FIDA Ekiti receivedÂ the complaint of sexual harassment and assault against Hon. Dare Pelemo and the complainant is Mrs. Mercy Ilesanmi that she was assaulted and stripped naked right in the premises of the Assembly complex.
“FIDA wrote a letter to invite the respondent for us to hear his own side of the story and to mediate in the matter.
“The woman is a widow and mother of children and her dignity has been violated for the fact that she was stripped naked. FIDA strongly condemns any form of assault against women in the state,” Atitebi said.
Speaking further, Mrs. Ilesanmi said: “I came to visit the honourable member representing my constituency, Hon. Samuel Omotoso, but I met his absence.
“On my way out, I met Hon. Dare Pelemo and we exchanged pleasantries. Immediately, he fondled my breasts and I asked him what was the meaning of that? I am a married woman for that matter and I don’t like how he touched my breast.
“He now said that I am an enemy of government, that I do not suppose to come to the Assembly. I now asked him that, ‘is that the reason why you are touching my breasts, a married woman for that matter’? I challenged him that Pelemo, that one is too much for you.
“I went to report the matter to Hon. Akinyele and I met the Clerk in Hon. Akinyele’s office with two other visitors with him. He was on phone but I waited.
“Before I knew what was happening, Pelemo came in with some miscreants and they started beating me, destroying things in that office asking what am I doing in the House of Assembly complex that I am not supposed to be there, that I am an enemy of government.”
Lawyer to the victim, Mr. Adeoye Aribasoye, said he has forwarded a petition on the assault and sexual harassment of his client to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Chafe.
Efforts to get Pelemo’s reaction to the allegation proved abortive as he has not answered several phone calls to his mobile line, while he has also not responded to text messages sent to him.