Rep files N4.4 billion suit against Prisons Service for assault

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Following the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) inability to investigate and take action against its staff, who allegedly assaulted a member of the House of Representatives at the premises of National Assembly in April this year, the victim, Onyemaechi Joan Mrakpor has filed a N4.4 billion suit against the service.

A security aide attached to the convoy of Comptroller-General of the NPS, Mr. Peter Ekpendu had in April this year allegedly descended on the female lawmaker and slapped her for overtaking the convoy that was on its way out of the National Assembly.

Mrakpor claimed that Ekpendu merely sat in his car and watched the aide pounced on her, calling her unprintable names, without making any attempt to stop him.

In the suit filed in Abuja dated 20th April 2016, the lawmaker, representing Aniocha North/ Aniocha South/ Oshimili North/ Oshimili South Federal Constituency of Delta State is seeking justice to offset medical bills and remedy the emotional trauma she has been going through since the incident occurred.

Her action, she said would prove to everyone, especially in government circle that no one is above the law in matters of breach of fundamental human rights.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Mrakpor said she was disappointed at the action of Ekpendu, who had up till now showed no remorse nor put a call through to her on the matter, despite that he had, alongside the Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau (rtd) appeared before the House Committee investigating the matter.

“It has become necessary that I file a N4.4 billion suit against the Nigerian Prisons Service over the action of its staff, who slapped me for claiming that I overtook the convoy of his Comptroller-General when it was leaving the National Assembly.

“This is not to say that I do not believe in the intervention of the House of Representatives that has set up a committee that is looking into the matter. It has to understand that I belong to a man, who has married me and I am bearing his name. So any abuse on his wife is an abuse on him.

“Again, I have to prove a point that a woman is not a less human. She also has rights and privileges like the man and need not be abused the way I was,” she explained.

Upon the occurrence of the incident, Minority Leader of the House, Leo Ogor, moved a motion on the floor of the House condemning the act and cited Section 16 of the Legislative Houses, Powers and Privileges Act, which stipulates a penalty of N400, 000 fine or a prison term of six months on conviction for an attack on a legislator within the premises of a legislative house.

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