Victim has no power to withdraw case – Police

Following the victim’s video, the police spokesperson in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the victim and her family cannot withdraw the case against Mr Abdul-Balogun because it is an offence committed against the state.
He said that the commissioner of police had directed that the case be taken to the state CID for proper investigation.
“The victim cannot withdraw the case because she is underage. More so, the family is not directly involved, so cannot withdraw the matter as well. If our investigation proved that the commissioner is guilty, we will charge him to court”.
Groups want transparent investigation
The Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation centre (WARDC), Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi in a statement said the government must provide psychological support for the victim to overcome the trauma.
“It is bewildering, to say the least, that a Commissioner in the same government that had taken novel and unprecedented steps in 2020 against Gender-Based Violence by inaugurating a Gender Based Violence Prohibition Committee to respond appropriately to any infraction of the law, as statutorily required by the Violence Against Women Prohibition Law of Ogun State, 2018.”
“The state must give credence to its zero-tolerance commitment to sexual violence by handling these allegations against its Commissioner appropriately as this will send a clear message that no one is above the law and serve as a deterrent to potential defaulters no matter how highly placed, while at the same time, encouraging other victims to report incidents of sexual abuse.”
In the same vein, the President of Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN), Rolane Ogbonnaya, urged the police not to cover-up while investigating the case.
“We stand for the protection and promotion of the sexual wellbeing of women, girls and the vulnerable of which Barakat Melojuekun is one.”
The group said that “as a media advocacy group on sexual and reproductive health and rights, the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN) is following this alleged case of sexual harassment against a minor.”

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