…As another woman accuses lawmaker of sexual harassment
” I didn’t do it”-accused lawmaker
From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
It was a harvest of ordeals for two Ekiti women, on Tuesday, as a 67-year-old kidnap victim, Mrs Florence Popoola, recounted her ordeal in the den of the kidnappers when five of the suspected kidnappers were paraded by the police in the state, on Tuesday after their arrest.
Also, Mrs Mercy Ilesanmi accused a lawmaker in the state, Dare Pelemo, of sexually harassing her. But the lawmaker has denied her claims, describing as frivolous and false.
Meanwhile, the police in Ekiti paraded suspects who had abducted Mrs Popoola on September 14.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Abdulahi Chafe, said about the kidnap: “invaded the residence of Mr Popoola at Arafomi Quarters and forcefully kidnapped his wife (Florence).”
The police commissioner, who was represented by the Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti Command, at the parade of the suspects, said further: “the hoodlums whisked the woman away in the Nissan Sunny car.”
The five suspects namely: Sunday Adeoye, 30; Dare Adesi, 26; Seun Ogunlayi, 25; Damilola Bamigboye 27 and Tope Ojo, 32, Chafe said, had confessed to the crime and added that a cash sum of “N323,000 being part of the ransom collected by the suspects from the victim’s family were recovered.”
Recounting her four-day ordeal in the hands of the kidnappers, Mrs Popoola said: “I was made to walk long distances even with my ailing leg, as they moved with me from one location to another for the four days. The puffed cigarette smoke in my face, choking me in the process while I had to beg them for water. I was fed stale rice meal, which upset my stomach and upon my throwing-up, they threatened that I’d have to eat my vomit to survive if my children didn’t meet their N1.5million ransom demand,” she recounted.
Mrs Ilesanmi alleged in a petition to the Ekiti State chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) that Pelemo fondled her breasts in an incident when she visited the House of Assembly, on September 6, 2017.
But Pelemo denied the allegation, saying “it is not true that she was harassed and I didn’t touch her when she came to the Assembly.”
Pelemo claimed that Mrs Ilesanmi was in the Assembly without proper security clearance “and I had to step in as the one in charge of the Assembly security, so I’m surprised that she is now accusing me of sexually harassing her.”
Ekiti FIDA, in reaction to the petition by the woman, demanded immediate arrest and prosecution of a member of the lawmaker.
Legal officer of Ekiti FIDA, Mrs Kemi Atitebi, said on Tuesday that the body had received a complaint of sexual harassment and assault of Mrs Ilesanmi against Pelemo, but alleged that the lawmaker did not honour the invitation to come to FIDA to defend himself against the allegation.
Atitebi said: “FIDA Ekiti received 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 the premises of the Assembly complex.
“FIDA wrote a letter to invite the respondent for us to hear his own side of the story and to mediate in the matter. The woman is a widow 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.”
Mrs Ilesanmi in her claim, said: “I came to visit the member representing my constituency, Hon. Samuel Omotoso but I didn’t meet him. On my way out, I met Hon Pelemo and we exchanged pleasantries. Immediately, he fondled my breasts and I asked him what was the meaning of that, that I am a married woman for that matter and I don’t like how he touched my breast.
“He now said that I am an enemy of government, that I was not supposed to come to the Assembly. I now asked him if that was the reason why he was touching my breasts, a married woman for that matter? I challenged him and said that Pelemo, that one is too much for you.
“I went to report the matter to the Majority Leader, Hon. Tunji Akinyele and I met the Clerk in Hon. Akinyele’s office with two other visitors with him. He was on the phone but I waited.
“Before long, Pelemo had come in with some miscreants and they started beating me, destroying things in that office. They were asking what I was doing in the House of Assembly complex; that I was not supposed to be there as an enemy of the government.”
But Pelemo said she had visited the Assembly and had allegedly bypassed the routine registration of visitors and not taken a tag, an action to which his attention was drawn.
He alleged that she was a politician in a camp opposed to the state government and a woman who said she was in control of the House of Assembly. (The Sun)