By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Senator representing Edo South Senatorial district in the National Assembly, Matthew Urhoghide has vowed to seek redress in court in response to alleged assault on him by suspected thugs at the Benin airport.
The lawmaker got a close shave with death shortly after he arrived airport aboard Abuja bound aircraft last Friday and thereafter locked at the VIP lounge of the airport for over 45 minutes.
The Senator was said to have fished in troubled waters over his motion for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment over $496 million expenditure for fighter jets without the approval by the national Assembly.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, spoke at his residence at the Weekend in Benin City where he confirmed the arrest of the stats youth leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Arch. Taddeus Erabor who was also attacked by the hoodlums by the Police.
He said: “As the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, all revenues and expenditure fall on my table. So, this is part of it. So, they (critics) should be proud that this is what it is. The Constitution is above every person. So, we have not reached the point of impeachment”.
He said he will formally brief the National Assembly on the incident, stressing that the constitution confers immunity on him in whatever he says on the floor of the National Assembly.
He, however, asked a member in Edo state governor’s cabinet to take responsibility for his attack which was witnessed by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Babatunde Johnson Kokumo who was pelt with sachet water while governor, Godwin Obaseki watched the ugly scene with glee.
He stated that he complied strictly with all the instructions state Commissioner’s who whisked away from the VIP lounge via tarmac of the Benin airport after unsuccessful attempts by security agents to keep the nihilistic youth who removed his cap at bay.
He said: “They have promised to deal with me. If not for the State Commissioner of Police who restrained them; I obeyed the Police Commissioner and remained where I was until the governor came.
“We were walking side by side, talking when a boy hit my head and the governor walked away. Before I left Abuja, I knew what was happening and the person responsible for it. I called him to tell him that it was unnecessary but he didn’t pick his calls.
“It would be cowardice for me to abort the journey. I wanted to see what would happen and they displayed their thugry. I am not cowed by it. I will represent my constituency and do whatever I want to do.
“They had ample time to bring the requests but they didn’t. We could have said more aircraft should be bought. What they have done is rumble jumble. The President has violated the constitution and that is the truth. If anybody is pretending that nothing has been done, the person should go to a mental home. Section 80 has been violated.
“Couldn’t I have spoken? That is what miscreants have misunderstood. I don’t have any regret for what I said. I stand on it. Where did I embarrass the President? Because of selfish interest here, and they want to show the President that everybody could be cowed in Edo.
“This is not a war I want to fight on partisan basis. I have immunity on what I say on the floor of the Senate. I am being crucified outside for what I said during plenary. I am going to report back to the Senate. All the security agencies must see the threat I am subjected to because I performed my duty as a Senator”, said.
Responding to the incident, the Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki distanced his Principal from the attack and absorbed the APC from any wrong doing.
But, the state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chris Nehikhare, asked the APC led-government to take responsibility for Senator Urhoghide’s attack by suspected thugs which has set Facebook bossing and Tweeter chirping.