Threatens legal action against sponsors
Emma Amaize, Jimitota Onoyume & Perez Brisibe
FORMER Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, has denied media reports that he assaulted and stripped naked four staff of Signatious Hotel describing the reports as political arrangements ahead of the Delta State 2023 governorship election.
Gbagi during a media briefing at his Oginibo country home in Ughelli South local government area of the state, also affirmed that as a law-abiding citizen and former chairman of the Nigerian Legal Aid Council, he will be attending any invite by the police over the matter.
While accusing a top political appointee of the Delta State Government of sponsoring what he described as political gimmicks, he hinted that legal action against sponsors of the incident is inevitable adding that he is also challenging the parties involved to seek redress in court if they have a good case.
He also denied reports that any of his children were involved in the incident including the photographing of the four persons, saying: “It was an arranged photograph for political reason.”
Speaking further, he said: “On the allegation of molestation of staff employed with Signatious Hotel, one of the businesses I own, let me categorically state that at no time did I or any person related to me strip naked the persons mentioned in the malicious allegation.
“As a father of six daughters who has tremendous respect for women, I consider those behind such accusation and blackmail the evilest minds and they must be identified and brought to face the full wrath of the law.
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“I do not get involved in the day-to-day running of my business empire, since this is a responsibility I have entrusted to a competent management team, and I repose the highest confidence in them.
As such, to the best of my knowledge and based on available information at my disposal as provided by the management of the hotel, the persons mentioned in the molestation allegation are not staff employed with any of my businesses nationwide. Any attempt to state otherwise must be backed by proof of employment which I dare those concerned to provide.
The photographs when viewed properly showed persons who were not in the least remorseful, but whose facial expression revealed that they had willfully stripped themselves naked in the process for political photographs and gimmickry to smear my name and character, as well as extort money from me.”
Speaking further, he said: “I challenge them to go to court if they have a case. These are all political gimmicks and it will go nowhere. The SSS called us over the matter and we told them that it is all political gimmick.
“The statements they made to their heads of departments are not at variance with what they said in their statements at the police station and they had confessed to the conspiracy of theft at the hotel.
“They are planned agents to politically come and create this ongoing euphoria and they have all been put together for that purpose and when I realised that it was all a planned arrangement, I invited the police.”