…police insist on investigating case
Victim of alleged sexual harassment, Barakat, and her father, Melojuekun Adesola Monsuru, yesterday say they had withdrawn their case against the Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun Abudu-Balogun. Barakat and her father made the disclosure in separate videos posted on Facebook.
In the 38-second video, Barakat appealed to Nigerians to allow the matter to be laid to rest. The 16-year-old girl added that there were some misconceptions in the case.
She said: “I’m using this opportunity to thank all meaningful Nigerians that showed their support towards this matter and I want you to know that there were few misconceptions and misunderstandings between me and the commissioner and I want to use this opportunity to appeal to meaningful Nigerians to please allow this matter to rest.”
Also, Barakat’s father, in his two minutes, 12 seconds video, said he was no longer interested in pursuing the case against Abudu-Balogun. He said: “Sincerely, I discovered that there were few misconceptions and misunderstandings along the line between my daughter and the honourable commissioner.
And 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. “I don’t have interest in this matter again. I’m withdrawing my case and I want them as well to support me the same way they did in the beginning of this matter.
Thank you very much, I’m very grateful for the show of love and support.” Governor Dapo Abiodun, in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi, on Sunday announced the suspension of the Commissioner, Abudu-Balogun, from his cabinet, pending the outcome of an independent investigation against him. However, the state Police Command insisted on proceeding with the investigation into the allegations.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed that the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had ordered that the case be transferred to the State Crim inal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID) at the Police Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta.
When asked if the victim’s family had officially withdrawn the case against the commissioner, the PPRO said, “the father of the victim has no locus standi for him to tell the police that he is no longer pressing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 an 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 our investigations to confirm the authenticity of the claims.
“The CP has directed that the case be transferred to the SCIID 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 to court and see the case to a logical conclusion.”