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Ebonyi State House of Assembly calls for arrest of local government Chairman who slapped a lawmaker

Mr Onah And Clement
The Ebonyi State House of Assembly has
ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution
of Clement Odah, the Chairman of Ohaukwu
Local Government Area, accused of assaulting
one of its members Chinedu Onah at
the committee room of the assembly complex in
Nkaliki.
The incident reportedly occurred after four
nominees Odah selected for management
committee members and liaison officers were
allegedly disqualified.
Mr Odah
The local government chairman was accused of
storming a room where house of assembly
members were drilling Ministries, Department
and Agencies (MDA) in the state on the budget
presented by the state governor and
slapping one of the committee members.
Recounting how the incident occurred, Deputy
Chief Whip of the House, Benjamin Ezekomam
said;
“What happened is that Chinedu Onah
stepped outside from the committee
room because he said he saw his
chairman and he went and greeted him
so the chairman walked out on him and
started going inside the committee
room.
“Chinedu Onah as an honourable
member, moved in to the committee
room and the chairman said ‘you small
boy, you are interrupting me by
stopping my nominee. I put you there’.
“Chinedu replied, ‘you didn’t put me
there, my constituency put me here not
you as a person’. He (the Chairman)
said ‘is that what you said, is that what
you said’ and he slapped him. We all
were embarrassed, we didn’t know what
to do, so the guy calmed himself
down.”
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Mr Onah who represents Ohaukwu south
constituency in the assembly corroborated the
claim. He said;
“Yes the local government chairman of
Ohaukwu barged into the community
room this morning where we were
taking some MDA’s on their various
budgets as was presented to the house
and started shouting ‘this small boy,
you stepped down my nominees as
members of management committee
members, I have come here to tell you
that you must clear them’.
“But unfortunately I did not step down
anybody that is not my constituency. I
am not from his constituency, I am not
representing Clement Odah beside if I
had seen any reason to step anybody
down on the course of the screening, I
owe him no apology to have done that
because that is my job to represent my
people. But unfortunately I did not do
that.
“The next thing he did was that when
they asked him that chairman you
should have asked me if I did or not
before accusing me, the next thing I
heard was a very huge and dirty slap on
my face for just doing nothing. But the
only thing I did was not retaliating
because I am an honorable member and
the law should take its course. That was
exactly what happened.
“The honourable members simply
suspended the committee room and
moved over to the plenary, resolved that
he should be invited by the committee
on LGA and that the psychiatric hospital
should ascertain the level of insanity in
him.
“That the security agencies should get
him arrested and prosecuted and that
the committee on LGA should
investigate more and ascertain his
activities at the local government.
“The plenary was presided by the
deputy speaker, the motion was moved
by the leader of the house and every
other honorable member was allowed to
make an input.”
Premium Times reported that Mr Odah denied
slapping the House of Assembly member. He
said;
“I did not slap anybody. Yes I was at
the house of assembly today but I went
there to meet one of my friends. While I
was waiting for him, I seized the
opportunity to exchange pleasantries
with some of the honorable members,
most of whom are my friends and
colleagues.
“Yesterday the nominees for
management committee members and
liaison appeared in the house for
screening. About four of them were not
screened on the basis that there was
petitions against them. On getting to the
house of assembly, I sighted one of our
honorable members. I felt it was a
ground to get some clarification so I
inquired from him, Chinedu Onah to be
precise.
“That was all. Then I moved in to
interact with other honorable members
where they were waiting for other
members at the conference hall. It was
not a sitting, not at all. I believed they
were waiting for the principal officers.
“After about three minutes, he came in
and advanced towards me shouting that
he was not happy the way I talked to
him. I said there is nothing wrong with
the way I talked to you. I just proffered
my little advice as my younger brother
and your council chairman.
“When the argument was heated, other
honorable members advised that we
should call it off and then they advised
me to leave the conference hall. I
entered my vehicle and left the
assembly complex. The other version of
slap is alien to me.

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