It’s All Lies, Blackmail – Ogun Commissioner Denies Sexually Harassing 16-year-old

Embattled Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abdul-Balogun, has denied that he sexually molested a 16-year-old girl, Barakat, saying some people are trying to blackmail and destroy him.

The commissioner added that it was “just lies, blackmail and falsehood”, saying there was more to the allegation than meets the eye.

Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abdul-Balogun

Abdul-Balogun had been in the eye of the storm after a teenager alleged that the commissioner lured her to his apartment and allegedly fondled her breasts while muttering some incantations.

In the video confession to the police, the teenager noted that the commissioner’s aides lured her to his house and his bedroom, after which the commissioner came in, bolted the door and sexually assaulted her.

Speaking with Reporters, the commissioner noted that it was a “game of local politics” some people were trying to play on him.

He said, “You know we are politicians and you know the game of politics, especially local politics, as people would want to destroy you once you have the visions. This is happening from my homestead. I have been in Ijebu for the past one week for the festivity. So, I am just getting back. So, it is all about some people; so, I know the game. But I can tell you that there is more to this than what we are seeing. It is just lies, blackmail and falsehood.

“Look at the video and see that somebody was asking leading questions from the girl in question. They are not her original words.”

In the video recording, believably done by a police investigator and obtained by SaharaReporters, the victim, a Senior Secondary School 3 student, had alleged that the commissioner allegedly caressed her body and offered her money.

She said she screamed, before she was eventually allowed to go.

She had said, “On December 31, one Mr Lasisi came to my grandparents in the area, and said he knew someone who needed a computer operator and asked if I knew how to operate a computer. I said yes. He now said I should get dressed and that we would go together to the place.

“When we got there, it was the honourable’s house. A lady, Maryam Odunnuga, came to pick me and took me to a living room. Mr Austin now came out and asked me to come over to a room. The honourable now came inside and Mr Austin went outside immediately.”

The teenager narrated further that the commissioner tried to entice her with money to get a chance to sleep with her but she resisted it.

She said, “The honourable locked the door instantly and put the key in his pocket. So, he now moved close to me and asked for the name of my school. He asked for the amount of money I was paying as school fees. I replied by saying N30,000. He asked me who was paying my school fees, I told him my daddy. He asked if I had thought of starting a business before going to school.

“I said I wanted to go to a higher institution. Then he said if I would need some money now, how much would I need? I said, any amount. He said I should state an amount. He now moved closer and pressed (fondled) my breasts. So, I moved his hand away. He now said won’t I cooperate. He now started pressing (fondling) my breasts and my body.

“I was struggling to free myself from him. Then he started reciting some incantations. He wanted to touch my head. I now moved his hand away so that he would not touch my head. He now wanted to force me inside his bathroom.

“But I struggled with him and started shouting. He did not want people around his house to know what was going on. He now left me and gave him four, N500 notes, that is N2,000 as my transport fare. I rejected the money.

“He said if I didn’t collect the money, he would not let me go. So, I collected it. He now asked Austin to drop me in our house. I want Nigerians to help me to take up this matter against him. This had never happened to me in my life. Right now, I am so shocked. I had never been harassed like that in my life.”

The police at Abigi Police Station had already invited the commissioner to come and answer to the allegations against him.

In the police invite sent to Abdul-Balogun, dated January 1, 2021, and signed by the Divisional Police Officer, the commissioner was to appear before 1pm on same day.

“You are invited to see the officer in charge of crime at the above-named police office in connection with a case reported, which this office is investigating.

“It is just a fact-finding invitation and your very cooperation will be appreciated. Upon arrival, please report to the Divisional Crime Officer, Abigi. Looking forward to seeing on or before 01/01/2021 at 1pm,” the police invite read.

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