… I did not slap him, I just made an inquiry – Council Boss
The lawmaker representing Ohaukwu South state constituency, Hon. Chinedu Onah, has accused the Ohaukwu local government chairman, Barrister Clement Odah, of giving him a hot slap for allegedly stepping down his management committee members nominees.
He said the incident happened on Wednesday December 18, at the Assembly screening room, where Ministries, Departments and Agencies were undergoing budget screening.
Onah denied stepping down the chairman’s nominees, adding that he is not from Odah’s constituency and that if he had seen any reason to step anybody down during the screening, he owe the local government chairman no apologies because he was doing his job.
“Yes the local government chairman of Ohaukwu, barged into the committee 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! that is me, that you stepped down my nominees as members of management committee members, I have come here to tell you that you have to clear them.
“But unfortunately, I did not step down anybody, and that is not my constituency am not from his constituency. I’m not representing Clement Odah, besides, if I had seen any reason to step anybody down in 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.
“I said chairman you should have asked me if I did or did not step any list down before accusing me, the next thing I heard was a very huge and dirty slap on my face for just doing nothing.
“The only thing I did was not retaliating because I’m 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. They resolved that he should be invited by the committee on LGA and that the security agencies should get him arrested and persecute him, that also the committee on LGA should investigate more and ascertain his activities at the local government.
“The plenary was presided over 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”, he stated.
In his reaction, the Deputy Chief Whip of the State Assembly, Benjamin Ezekoma, who is representing Ebonyi North East state constituency, described the development as uncalled for.
“What happened was 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 worked out on him and started going inside the committee room. Onah as an honourable member, moved into the committee room and the chairman said you small boy!, you are interrupting me by stopping my nominee, I put you there! Chinedu said you didn’t put me here my constituents did.
“He asked, is that what you said? Is that what you said? and he slapped him, we all were embarrassed, we did’t know what to do, but the guy calmed himself down,” he narrated.
He also said it was an insult not only to Hon. Onah but the whole legislative arm.
Reacting to the allegation against him, Hon. Odah, averred that he didn’t slap Hon. Onah, when he visited the house committee room.
The Ohaukwu council boss also said he was not beaten by other lawmakers who were not happy with the said attitude towards their colleague as speculated.
“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 before the House for screening and 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, and I felt it was a ground to get some clarifications so I just made inquiry from him, honorable Chinedu Onah to be precise, on why they stepped down my nominees.
“That was all, l then 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 believe they were waiting for the principal officers.
“After about three minutes Onah 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 the other honorable members advised that we should call it off and then they advised me to leave the conference hall, that there was no need for the altercation. Then I entered my vehicle and left the Assembly complex. The other version of slap, is allen to me”, he stated.
Odah also pointed out that he wasn’t surprised that the lawmakers were sympathizing with the colleague, adding that it’s what they supposed to do.
“Some will even give Onah balm to apply on his face just to prove that he was slapped, so they should defend their own, while my own colleagues are also sympathizing with me,” he added.