Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Lawmaker representing Ekiti East Local Government Area in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Dare Pelemo, may be prosecuted for alleged sexual harassment and physical assault on a widow, Mrs. Mercy Ilesanmi.
Pelemo allegedlyÂ fondled the breasts of the woman on September 6 at the assembly complex.
Miffed by the lawmakerâ€™s conduct, Ilesanmi raised the alarm and condemned the alleged act, but the lawmaker later allegedly mobilised thugsÂ toÂ beat her up.
The widow, who spoke with journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, 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 beat her and tore her clothes to shreds.
The Legal Officer ofÂ the International Federation of Women Lawyers(FIDA)Â in Ekiti, Mrs. Kemi Atitebi, disclosedÂ yesterday that the body received a complaint of sexual harassment and assault on Ilesanmi against Pelemo.
AtitebiÂ added that the lawmaker allegedly foiled the mediating process by shunningÂ the invitation to come and defend himself against the allegation.
According to her, â€œFIDA 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 at the premises of the state assembly complex.
â€œFIDA wrote a letter to invite the respondent for us to hear his own side of the story and to mediate in the matter.
Â â€œThe 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.â€
Speaking further, Ilesanmi said: â€œI came to visit the honourable member representing my constituency, Hon. Samuel Omotoso, but he wasnâ€™t present.
â€œOn 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, and that I am a married woman, and I donâ€™t like how he touched my breast.
â€œHe said that I am an enemy of the government, and I was not supposed to come to the assembly. I now asked him: â€˜Is that the reason why you are touching my breasts, a married woman for that matter? I challenged him.
â€œI went to report the matter to Hon. Akinyele and I met the Clerk in his office with two other visitors. He was on phone so I waited.
â€œBefore I knew what was happening, Pelemo came in with some miscreants and they started beating me, destroying things in that office, asking me
what I was doingÂ in the House of Assembly complex because I was not supposed to be there, and that I am an enemy of government.â€
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 Pelemoâ€™s reaction to the allegation proved abortive as he has not answered several calls made to his mobile phone, did not also respond to text messages sent to him.