Jide Babalola, an aide to the Deputy Senate President, has been detained by men of the Nigeria Police Force for allegedly harassing a House of Representatives member, Hon. Tolu Akande-Sadipe (APC, Oyo) at the premises of the National Assembly, Abuja, on Thursday, November 4.
Akande-Sadipe, who’s the Chairman House Committee on Diaspora Affairs was alleged to have ordered the detention of the DSP media aide for allegedly bumping into her while taking a lift at the House of Representatives.
Speaking to newsmen on what transpired, Akande-Sadipe said the incident was a case of gender harassment, saying that she didn’t order his arrest, rather the security people only intervened.
She mentioned that she was in the lift and cautioned him not to move back so their bodies do not touch and that when she cautioned him, he looked back at her and she found that to be intimidating.
“This is a case of Gender harassment. He got into the elevator after me. I was talking to a staff 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. 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 Deputy Superintendent of Police, I know will not condone what he has done. I have since left the building to a meeting outside National Assembly. Then I see his media blackmail floating around on social media.”
Also speaking on what happened, Babalola said it was a minor issue that did not necessarily warrant the Ill-treatment he got from the lawmaker because bumping into someone was never a crime.
”I was coming down from an elevator, there were about six or seven people in the elevator. So it was a bit crowded for all of us. There were about two women and I was being careful enough. Then she (Hon. Sadipe) said I almost bumped into her, and she continued accusing me that I bumped into her and then I said madam I didn’t bump into you.
At that point, I didn’t know that she’s an honorable member, so I referred to her as madam which obviously didn’t sit well with her.
So it now made things worse, by the time we got to the ground floor, and then it became something else. So one of the persons in the elevator tried to beg but she was adamant.
“As I tried to explain that, look I am a man of 55 years old and I have put in 31 years in journalism, so I will not intentionally hurt a woman.”
“And then she started screaming that do you know who I am. I am honourable Sadipe Akande. 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 is, I tried to explain.
At some point, one of them said no matter how right I think I am, that I should apologize. So I did. So I thought the matter had subsided, as I was about moving to the exit she kept following me behind.
Just at the exit where security personnel usually sit she beckoned on the sergeant at arms to pick me up, that she’ is going out until whenever she is done, that they should hold me.”