Benue Deputy Speaker Tackles Agbese on Assassination Attempt Claim

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Lami Danladi Ogenyi, has described as complete falsehood the claim by a federal lawmaker, Hon Philip Agbese, that some persons had attempted to take his life in the state.

Ogenyi, who dismissed the assassination claim yesterday in Abuja, accused the federal lawmaker of attempt to put a dent on her name.

Agbese, who represents Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo federal constituency at the House of Representatives, had raised the alarm of assassination attempt on his life last week, when he went to Igumale to share Easter packages for his constituents.

Based on the claim, the police had arrested eight persons, who were last Monday arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in Makurdi.

Those arraigned and subsequently remanded in prison custody include Peter Gilbert, Pius Aboh, Awuru Sunday, Gabriel Ojoko, Paul Ochigbo, Yusuf Ajibo, Cyril Egwu and Daniel Odoh. Agbese had accused the deputy speaker of complicity in the assassination attempt on the grounds that her official vehicle was found with one of the culprits arrested by the police.

Reacting, however, Ogenyi in a statement signed by her Press Secretary, Mr. Agbaji Atsonwu, faulted the claim of the House of Representatives member, adding that Agbese had failed to provide the public with substantial evidence.

She said: “We wish to state emphatically, and for the public to note the following: That the scripted game by Agbese and his camp is solely an attempt to put a dent on the name of the Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Lami Danladi Ogenyi. If it were not so, why would Agbese hurriedly call the name of the Deputy Speaker in the saga without giving room for proper police investigation? 

Ogenyi, who maintained that she is a law-abiding and peace-loving Nigerian whose integrity has never been questioned before, stated that she will never get involved in any act capable of ruining her reputation.

She argued that “the arraignment of the supposed suspects allegedly involved in the assassination attempt on Agbese by the Police Prosecuting Officer without due investigation and presenting the public with evidence of the claims goes to show just how much Agbese desperately wants to witch hunt those whom he ought to represent and protect in a positive light.

“Among other charges, the young men were charged for possession of firearms. However, until now, the police are yet to make available for public consumption, the firearms recovered from the said suspects as it’s customary to the Nigerian Police who delight in parading suspects with implicating items found on them. This has raised another serious concern and questions over the entire story from the House member and his camp.

“Hon. Lami Danladi Ogenyi hates injustice and oppression, and will not be quiet when and where evil is being perpetrated. Hence, her rebuttal on the unverified claim by Agbese and the quick arraignment and detention of innocent young men without due investigation.”

She, however, urged the judiciary, which she sees as the last hope of the common man and the instrument for the interpretation of the law, to carry out due diligence on the matter so as to prove itself once more as the last hope of the common man.

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