Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close



Rep apologises to colleague over assault

Posted by From John-Abba Ogbodo on 2004/10/28 | Views: 1211 |

Rep apologises to colleague over assault


IT was a tearful reconciliation on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday as legislator, Iquo Inyang, apologised to, and embraced the male colleague, Emmanuel Bwacha, whom she had slapped 24 hours earlier.

IT was a tearful reconciliation on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday as legislator, Iquo Inyang, apologised to, and embraced the male colleague, Emmanuel Bwacha, whom she had slapped 24 hours earlier.

And Bwacha declared that he had forgiven his remorseful assailant.

However, Iquo was not totally spared by the House, which after some debate decided the incident was being investigated by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

Part of her plea was that her nerve had snapped so uncharacteristically due to the loss of her father to whom she was very close.

Iquo Inyang (Akwa Ibom) had on Wednesday evening slapped Bwacha (Taraba), the chairman of the Committee on Police Affairs.

Reporting the incident on the floor, the Chief Whip, Abdullahi Bawa Bwari, said in the full glare of himself and the House leader, Abdul Ningi, Iquo Inyang assaulted Bwacha, caused bodily injury to him and broke his glasses.

The Chief Whip added that the leadership of the House had deliberated on the issue and taken a position but that Iquo later called at his house and apologised.

Bwari also said that female legislators had condemned the action and called for punitive measures.

He described the action as condemnable, unparliamentary and unacceptable.

The Chief Whip subsequently announced that the female lawmaker would be investigated by the committee on ethics and privileges but while the investigation lasted, she would be on a three-week suspension.

Bwari added that the Committee on Rules and Business had been directed to present the already prepared code of conduct for members next week for adoption.

The House leader commended Bwacha for his tolerance whom he said remained composed even after the assault.

Ningi said he was the one who took Bwacha to the deputy speaker's office where Iquo's action was roundly condemned by the second in command, Austin Opara and other members present.

The House leader also said the lawmaker visited his residence in tears and apologised for her rage.

John Halins Agoda faulted the procedure adopted in meting out the punishment, pointing out that the relevant rules ought to have been cited to make the action of the leadership transparent.

The Speaker, Aminu Bello Masari, however defended the committee's action.

According to Masari, the essence of the investigation was to find out the remote cause of the misunderstanding. Sadatu Sani (Kaduna) and Binta Goje (Kaduna) pleaded with the leadership to reduce the suspension period to two, citing the Senate's action in the case of Isa Mohammed and Iyabode Anisulowo.

Abdul Oroh (Edo) while condemning Iquo's action, pleaded with Bwacha to turn the other cheek as exposed by the Christian religion or "go for a kiss". He attributed the action to the tension in the country, noting that even President Olusegun Obasanjo flogged a security man at a point in history.

At this point, the Speaker asked Iquo Inyang to respond.

With cascading tears, and a voice wrapped in sorrow, she said: "it was out of character" occasioned by the tragic loss of her father, and having come straight from the mortuary at the National Hospital where the body of her father was deposited.

"I don't have much to say than to just say sorry, I am really sorry."
Bwacha, on his part, said he is a Christian and when the incident occurred, a voice ministered to him to take it easy.

He added: "She has apologised and who am I not to forgive."
Before Bwacha started his remarks, Iquo Inyang who sits far away on the second row walked soberly, in her black trousers, stripped long sleeve and a black belt to match, and embraced him. This prompted a thunderous clapping session.

Having listened to both parties, the Speaker said: "There are certain times when the right thing has to be done. She has apologised and has been forgiven but will the system forgive? We have forgiven her, but the records have to be put straight. I don't want a situation when another person is slapped or assaulted and punished and he or she will say 'why is mine different? Is it because it is me or I am from where I come from?"
He, therefore, asked members to decide and it was decided that she should go for a one-week suspension.

Stating their cases at a press conference organised by the House Committee on Public Affairs led by Abike Dabiri, Bwacha said the Police Affairs Committee had proposed a trip for oversight functions and Inyang had initially asked to be part of the team to the North East before she travelled to the United States to bring home her father's body.

He added that on her return on Wednesday, she had asked him to put her name for South-South.

Bwacha said he told her that arrangement had been concluded and there would not be any change as far as he remained as chairman. He alleged that it was at this point that Inyang slapped him.

But Iquo Inyang, who said Bwacha "stated (only) part of what transpired," narrated in her account that Bwacha used some provocative words, which seemed to dent her image.

She mentioned part of it: "He referred to me as 'that type'". She, however, added but I will not tell you the type..."
She continued: "I felt he was trying to give me a bad image and my reflexes snapped. I have been going through stress over my father's death because I was the closest to him and came back to meet such situation... 'I am really sorry.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :