Hon Uju Onwudiwe, who represents Njaba State Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, has forwarded a petition titled, “Petition against Hon Samuel Otuibe for violent assault, threat to life and conduct unbecoming of a legislator”.
In the petition dated 10th July, 2020, a certified true copy of which was made available to the press, Hon Uju said, “I write with deep pain and outrage, to formally bring to your notice and the entire House, how Hon Samuel Otuibe, who represents Ahiazu Mbaise State Constituency in the state legislature, violently assaulted me and threatened my life, on Monday 16th July, 2020, during a meeting of House of Assembly members at the Deputy Speaker’s lodge.
The petition further stated that, at the said meeting, which was attended by all members of the APC caucus in the House of Assembly, presided over by the Speaker, Rt Hon (Dr) Chiji Collins, “I was calmly seated beside Hon Ngozi Obiefule, representing Isu State Constituency, who was expressing her grievances over a perceived wrong, when Hon Otuibe suddenly sprang up from his seat and hushed her down. He also ordered her to sit down in a very humiliating and embarrassing manner”.
“As a fellow woman and lover of decorum and due process, I politely told Hon Otuibe to allow her air her views because he does not have the right to hush down a fellow legislator. Even if she is wrong, she has a right to fair hearing”.
Hon Uju further averred that, “at that point, Hon Otuibe charged at her, “shouting did I talk to you, did I call your name, repeatedly”. He picked a bottle of wine from the table and violently threw it at her, with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, disfigure or even harm her.
“Luckily, I dodged the wine bottle which went past me and smashed where Hon Ekene Nnodumele of Orsu State Constituency was seated”.
“Disappointed that the bottle he threw at me, missed it’s target, as planned, he picked a wine glass and threw it at me. Luckily, again, I dodged the glass which, sadly, hit Hon Cyracus Okoro, who represents Ohaji/Egbema State Constituency and injured his hand”.
“Mr Speaker, Sir, this unwarranted crude and violet attack on me, with wine bottle and glass during a meeting of legislators, presided over by your esteemed self, was a serious threat to my life, a violent conduct unbecoming of a legislator, who is deemed to be honourable, an abuse of my priviledge as a lawmaker and gross violation of our House rules, which forbids any legislator from violently attacking a colleague, no matter the level of provocation”.
The petition further posited that reports of Hon Otuibe’s ugly and shameful conduct which made headlines in both the print and electronic media, has ridiculed the state legislature, portrayed it in bad light and damaged it’s image and reputation.
“Mr Speaker, Sir, as a peaceful and law abiding person who has not for any reason, indulged in any form of rascality or break down of law and order, with and outside the confines of Imo State House of Assembly, I most respectfully bring this petition, to seek your protection and pray that you invoke the rules of the House to direct the Committee on Ethics and Priviledges to investigate these violent acts of Hon Samuel Otuibe against me and sanction him accordingly, as the whole world is watching with keen interest to see, how the legislature under your leadership will handle this matter”.
Hon Onwudiwe opined that if Hon Otuibe’s reprehensible act is not urgently and properly addressed, it will send dangerous signals, breed unhealthy sentiments and insinuations, as well as give the impression that the leadership of the state legislature support and condones legislative rascality and irresponsibly. “I therefore implore you, sir, to call Hon Otuibe to order and restore the dignity of the House”.
She also hinted that she has been under pressure to press criminal charges and civil action against Hon Otuibe but has been reluctant because of the respect she has for the Speaker and leadership of the House. “Hence my decision to bring it to your notice, hoping that, justice will prevail”.
“However, if nothing is done about my petition in the next seven (7) days, I will have no option than to seek redress in court”, she concluded.