- An aide to Ovie Omo-Agege has been arrested and detained for two hours on the order of a female lawmaker
- The lawmaker alleged that Jide Babalola bumped into her in an elevator at the complex of the National Assembly
- According to the lawmaker, the matter is a case of gender harassment by the deputy Senate president's aide
A female lawmaker of the federal House of Representatives, Tolulope Akande-Shadipe, on Thursday, November 4, accused an aide to the deputy Senate president Ovie Omo-Agege of harassing her.
The lawmaker, following the alleged incident, ordered the arrest of Jide Babalola, a senior special assistant to Omo-Agege on print.
Punch reports that although Babalola had denied the allegation levelled against him by the lawmaker.
He was also detained in the Police crime unit of the National Assembly for two hours but was later bailed by the lawmaker representing Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency, Teejay Yusuf (Peoples Democratic Party/Kogi).
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Akande-Shadipe who represents Oluyole Federal Constituency had claimed that Babaloloa bumped into her inside an elevator in the new wing of the House.
The aide who spoke to journalists after the incident explained that he was coming down from the elevator when the incident occurred.
He said there were about seven people - two women inclusive - in the elevator which was a bit crowded.
"There were about two women and I was being careful enough – you know last year in August, I contracted COVID-19 – because the biggest risk is being in the elevator with so many people. So, I was being careful, talking less of bumping into anyone."
According to him, at this instance, the lawmaker started to scream accusing him of bumping into her.
“At that point, I didn’t know that she was an honourable member. So, I referred to her as madam, which obviously didn’t sit well with her; it made things worse. By the time we got to the ground floor, it became something else. One of the persons inside the elevator tried to beg but she was adamant."
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Further explaining to her that he could not have bumped into her without knowing, especially as a woman, the lawmaker continued to scream with the allegation.
“So, in the process, we ran into some lawmakers that were coming in with a minister – about four or five of them. As soon as she sighted them, she continued to scream, so one of them called me and asked what the problem was and I tried to explain. One of them said no matter how right I thought I was, I should apologise to her. So, I did.”
He also noted that after tendering his apology other lawmakers left but Akande-Shadipe followed him.
He said when they got to the exit where security operatives were seated, she called on the sergeants-at-arms to pick him up until she returns since she was going out.
“I never knew it was a crime to bump into someone; I never robbed shoulders with her. And this incident happened in a public elevator; it is not an elevator meant for lawmakers. I never entered an elevator meant for lawmakers."
However responding to journalists, Akande-Shadipe said the matter was a case of gender harassment.
“This is a case of gender harassment. He got into the elevator after me. I was talking to a staff (member) of NASS. All I said to him was, ‘Please, don’t step back’ and he turned on me, intimidating me because I am a woman. This is a case of gender bias and gender intimidation.”
She further denied claims that she called for the arrest of the aide to the deputy Senate president over the issue.
“He was held by the NASS security as I felt intimidated by him and I made a formal complaint, which they are free to investigate. The DSP (Deputy Senate President) that I know will not condone what he has done."
“I have since left the building for a meeting outside NASS. Then, I see his media blackmail floating around on social media."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the deputy Senate president had called on Nigerians to join hands in praying for the country.
Omo-Agege said Nigeria and its leaders need prayers to surmount the challenges currently bedevilling them.
He also said that the challenges facing the nation would better be confronted if such qualities were imbibed by all.
In other news, the deputy Senate president had said that the demand by many for a new constitution would be a difficult task.
Omo-Agege who doubles as the chairman of the Senate’s committee on constitution review said the National Assembly is only empowered to alter the constitution.