On Thursday, Tolulope Akande-Shadipe, the lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency, allegedly ordered the arrest of Mr Jide Babalola, the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Senate President on Print, for alleged harassment.
Balalola, who was detained for almost two hours at the Police Crime Unit on the grounds of the National Assembly complex, refuted the allegations, accusing Akande-Shadipe of power abuse.
Babalola was accused of bumping into Akande-Shadipe inside an elevator in the New Wing of the House by Akande-Shadipe, a member of the All Progressives Congress and Chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora.
Teejay Yusuf (Peoples Democratic Party/Kogi), the legislator representing Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency, is alleged to have bailed out the media aide. When contacted by our correspondent, he declined to comment on the situation.
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It was a little issue, according to Babalola, who spoke to journalists over the phone.
“I was coming down from an elevator,” he explained. In the elevator, there were maybe six to seven people. As a result, it was a little crowded for us all. There were roughly two women in the elevator, and I was being cautious – as you may recall, I acquired COVID-19 last August – because the greatest risk is being in an elevator with so many people. As a result, I was taking extra precautions to avoid colliding with anyone.
“Then she (Akande-Shadipe) claimed that I almost collided with her, and she continued to accuse me of colliding with her.” ‘Madam, I didn’t bump into you,’ I explained.
“I had no idea she was an honourable member at the time. So I addressed her as madam, which obviously irritated her and made matters worse. It had changed by the time we got down to the main floor. One of the people in the elevator tried to beg her, but she refused.
“As I tried to explain, ‘Look, I am a 55-year-old man who has worked in journalism for 31 years, so I will not intentionally hurt a woman,’ she screamed, ‘Do you know who I am?’ Honourable Akande-Shadipe is my name.
“So, during the process, we ran into a group of legislators – about four or five of them – who were coming in with a minister.” She started to cry as soon as she saw them, so one of them contacted me and asked what was wrong, and I tried to explain. One of them told me that I ought to apologise to her, no matter how right I thought I was. So that’s what I did.”
Balalola said the lawmaker followed him after apologising to Akande-Shadipe and her colleagues had departed.
“She beckoned on the sergeants-at-arms to pick me up; that she was going out and that they should hold me until she was done, just near the exit where security personnel usually sit.”
“I had no idea it was illegal to run into someone; I had never brushed shoulders with her.” And the incident occurred in a public elevator, not a legislator-only elevator. “I’ve never ridden in an elevator reserved for legislators,” he added.
Babalola, on the other hand, allegedly harassed Akande-Shadipe, according to media.
“This is a case of gender harassment,” she claimed. He was the one who got into the elevator after me. I was speaking with a member of the NASS personnel. ‘Please don’t step back,’ I said, and he turned on me, intimidating me because I am a woman. This is an example of gender intimidation and bigotry.”
The politician, on the other hand, denied ordering Babalola’s arrest, claiming that security personnel were just sent in to help.
“He was detained by NASS security because he intimidated me, so I filed a formal complaint, which they are free to investigate.” What he has done will not be tolerated by the DSP (Deputy Senate President) that I know.
“I’ve left the building to attend a meeting outside of NASS.” “Then I see his media blackmail on social media,” she explained.
Credit : Punch Newspaper