Sexual Harassment: Family of Teenager Withdraws Allegation against Ogun Commissioner

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* Case must be investigated, police insist

Chiemelie Ezeobi

The family of Melojuekun Barakat, the teenager allegedly sexually harassed by Ogun Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu- Balogun, has withdrawn the allegation.

The 16-year-old girl is said to be a student of Victory Model College in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the state.

In a viral video, the underage girl alleged that the commissioner lured her into his house and attempted to rape her.

She said her screaming forced the commissioner to stop after which he offered her N2,000 to bury the issue.

But in a video, Melojuekun Adesola Mansur, a man who identified himself as Barakat’s father, said the family would love to lay the matter to rest.

He expressed gratitude to the media, the international community and concerned Nigerians for their support since the incident was first reported.

Mansur said there are some “misconceptions and misunderstanding” between his daughter and the commissioner.

He said he no longer has interest in the case and that Nigerians should support him by laying the matter to rest.

“I want to thank the media for their doggedness and aggressive support to make sure that justice prevails. I am also using this opportunity to thank the international community, well meaning Nigerians and Ogun State indigenes that showed their love to this matter,” he said.

“However, I understand there are some misconceptions and misunderstandings along the line between my daughter and the honorable commissioner. Having discovered this, I deem it fit to come to the public and inform Nigerians and the international community that this matter should be allowed to be laid to rest.

“As a father to Barakat, I am using this opportunity as well to appeal to Nigerians and international community and the media that I don’t have interest in this matter again. I am withdrawing my case and I want them to support me the same way they did at the beginning of this matter.”

Barakat, in a similar video, also appealed to Nigerians to allow the matter be laid to rest.

She attributed the reason to “few misconceptions and misunderstanding” between her and the commissioner.

“My name is Melojuekun Barakat. You can recall that I was the lady in the viral video on sexual harassment by the commissioner for environment in Ogun state. I am using this opportunity to thank all meaningful Nigerians that showed their support and love towards this matter,” she said.

“I want you to know that there were few misconceptions and misunderstanding between I and the commissioner. I want to use this opportunity to appeal to meaningful Nigerians to please allow this matter to rest.”

Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun, had ordered the suspension of the commissioner over the allegation.

Despite the withdrawal of the case, the sate Police Command yesterday said it would still proceed with the investigation into the allegations against Abudu-Balogun.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed that the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had ordered that the case be transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department at the Police headquarters in Eleweran, Abeokuta, the state capital.

The PPRO said despite that the victim’s family had officially withdrawn the case against the commissioner, the command will go ahead with the case.

He said, “The father of the victim has no loco standing for him to tell the police that he’s no longer pressing charges against the commissioner because he is not our complainant.

“He is not the person that was directly involved in the case. The victim is his daughter and even the daughter herself cannot withdraw the case because she is underage.

“Secondly, the case is an offense committed against the state, so they are no longer complainants, it is the Commissioner of Police versus the suspect (Abudu-Balogun).

“They are just witnesses in the case. So the police are going on with investigations to confirm the authenticity of the claims.

“The CP has directed that the case should be transferred to the State CID for proper investigations, so their position is immaterial.

“We cannot conclude that the case will be charged to court until when we confirm that the offense was actually committed. If the offense was actually committed, we will not hesitate to charge it court and see the case to a logical conclusion.”