The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Peter Ekpendu, today appealed and apologized on behalf of his officers who were alleged to have assaulted a female lawmaker, Mrakpo Onyenmachi Jona, saying it was very embarrassing and uncalled for.
His appeal came at the tail end of the fact-finding hearing today by the House Committee on Interior at the National Assembly, which was directed to look into the allegation.
Mr. Ekpendu disclosed that he was not aware of the assault on the lawmaker and that the incident did not happen in his presence. He said that the incident was brought to his attention by people who heard about it from media reports. Mr. Ekpendu maintained that his submission at the hearing was based on the report he received from his officers who witnessed the incident.
He said that the matter is under investigation in his office as queries have been issued to the officers involved in the incident. Mr. Ekpendu also denied the media report that he called the lawmaker a liar.
The officer who was alleged to have slapped the lawmaker, Idah Odeh, denied the allegation. He said that he did not come out of his Hilux van, which was the escort to the Comptroller General, and that he did not slap the lawmaker at any point. The position was contradicted with the presentation made by a representative of the Sergeant-at-Arms, who told the committee that he saw Mr. Odeh leave his car and hit the body of Ms. Jona’s car. However, he said that Mr. Odeh did not hit the lawmaker.
Most of the statements made by the officers of the Prisons Service at the hearing contradicted each other.
Ms. Jona was reportedly slapped by an officer of the NPS for allegedly not giving way to the convoy of the Comptroller General of the NPS at the National Assembly on Wednesday, April 20.