Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
There are conflicting accounts as to the alleged assault on Senator Abiodun Olujimi on Monday at the premises of the National Assembly by a sergeant at arms official (security).
This followed fisticuffs involving Olujimi’s orderly and the sergeant at arms whose name was given as Kingsley, in one of the elevators at the office complex for senators, while she was on her way to attend an investigative hearing on petroleum subsidy payments.
Kingsley is attached to the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), which is preparing for strike as provost.
Olujimi reportedly entered the lift in company of her armed orderly and some of her aides when some verbal exchanges led to fisticuffs.
One account has it that Olujimi expressed displeasure that Kingsley entered the lift with her, since it was labeled: ‘Senators Only’.
Kingsley responded with angry words, prompting Olujimi to instruct her orderly to slap him.
The orderly allegedly carried out the instruction, and Kingsley retaliated.
Another account has it that Olujimi entered the lift and was shielded by her orderly and aides as the lift was crowded with about eight persons.
Kingsley was alleged to be muttering on why some senators “behave like god” and do not want others to use the lift, when Olujimi asked him why he was complaining when he was already in the lift.
He pointed his fingers at her and verbally insulted her. This, it was gathered, made the orderly to try to stop him. In the fisticuffs that ensued, Kingsley allegedly slapped the lawmaker, and was joined by some others in the elevator to beat up the orderly, in a fight which spilled outside the elevator when it was stopped.
THISDAY gathered that Olujimi reported the matter to the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, who invited the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) attached to the N’Assembly to investigate the incident.
Olujimi, however, declined to write a statement following entreaties from some members of PASAN, as doing so might result in the police charging him to court for assault.
Speaking briefly with journalists, she however said she would take up the matter with the N’Assembly security.
Speaking with THISDAY in a telephone chat, Olujimi’s media aide, Mr. Victor Inedu, said his principal never instructed her orderly to slap Kingsley.
“She is not that kind of person who would ask others not to get on the lift because she is on it,” he said.
Inedu added that the senator has decided not to press assault charges against Kingsley.
Yesterday’s incident was the second time a female lawmaker in the eighth assembly would be assulted.
In April 2016, Hon. Onyeamachi Mkrapor (Delta PDP) was allegedly slapped by one of the aides of the retired prison Controller General, Mr. Peter Ekpendu, for overtaking the convoy of the prison boss while on his way out of the National Assembly.