Prisons boss says aides were ‘barbaric, overzealous’ for slapping female lawmaker

Following his summoning to appear before the House Committee on Interior to answer allegations of assaulting a female lawmaker, Onyemachi Mrakpor, the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Peter Ekpendu, on Monday, disowned his security men.

Ekpendu, while apologising for the action, also stated that members of his security detail acted on their own and must answer for their actions, describing their action as “barbaric, overzealous and despicable.”

He further stated that although he accepts responsibility for his aides actions, they will face the consequences for “acts unbecoming of a prisons officer without directives from me or any of my subordinate officers.”

The prison boss further informed the committee that the Prisons Act was against acts of indiscipline and that offenders could be dismissed from the service.

While stating that he was unaware of the incident until 24 hours later when he heard about it in local and foreign media, Ekpendu prayed the committee to allow him more time so as to conclude investigations into matter in collaboration with the police force.

The assaulted lawmaker, Mrakpor, was present at the committee hearing, where she identified one senior prisons officer, Idah Odo, as the person who had slapped her.

Odo vehemently denied the accusation saying that: “I am an escort, but I didn’t slap her. I did not even step down from the vehicle.”

The National Assembly security details, who were on duty that day, confirmed that there was an altercation between the lawmaker and the CG’s aides.

They, however, denied seeing the lawmaker getting slapped.

The committee ruled that a deputy CG of Prisons, Shehu Kangiwa, who rode in the same vehicle with Odo must come before the committee to verify Odo’s story.

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