The Senate on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Police Affairs to investigate an attack on Sen. Matthew Uroghide (PDP-Edo) in Benin on April 27.
This followed a Point of Order by Sen. Uroghide at plenary.
While referring to Order 43 of the Senate Standing Order(2015) as amended, the lawmaker decried the humiliation he suffered in the hands of some suspected thugs at Benin Airport over comments he made in plenary.
The lawmaker had on April 26 at plenary, asked the Senate to invoke Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution over alleged illegal withdrawal of 1billion dollars from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
It also queried the spending of 496million dollars of the money for purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft from the United States of America (USA).
Uroghide while referring to orders 15, 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, had explained that President Muhammadu Buhari violated sections 80 subsections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Constitution regarding withdrawal.
He also said that the president erred by spending monies from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation without appropriation.
Sub Sections 2 and 3 of Section 80 states that, “No money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by this Constitution or where the issue of those monies has been authorised by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of section 81 of this constitution’’ .
Uroghide urged the senate to wade into the matter to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.
“For the first time in my life, I was embarrassed, especially for the fact that it stemmed from my responsibility as a senator. Hoodlums were sent to waylay me.
“I stood up to make my contributions as chairman, Public Accounts and the letter transmitted to the senate had to do with funds.
“I mentioned without fear of contradictions that it was a noble idea but that the procedure for the payment was wrong.
“This is because there was no appropriation and that Section 80 of the Constitution provides so and that Schedule 7 puts a burden on us to do the needful.
“I said we should invoke section 143, which provides for investigation and other things.
“For someone to mobilise thugs to humiliate me is unacceptable. A thug removed my cap and threw it away in front of my state Governor and Commissioner of Police.
“Besides, I have privilege to say what I said which was misconstrued,” he said.
Uroghide stressed that if not addressed, such attack could go unabated.
“ I plead with this house that those behind the attack should be fished out and punished to serve as deterrent. Nobody should take us for granted.
“In fact, the State House of Assembly said I should apologise within 72 hours else they will commence the process for my recall,” he said.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said the spate of molestation of lawmakers in recent times called for concern.
He said it was appalling that lawmakers could be treated with disrespect or harassed over matters addressed in chamber despite the immunity they enjoy.
“There is no colleague here that will not agree that we condemn the act of molestation or harassment.
“The Legislative and Privileges Act, gives us immunity over whatever we say in plenary. It is unfortunate.
“I am happy the Chairman Police Affairs is here. He should make sure that those behind the attack are brought to book,” he said.