By Bode Gbadebo |
The chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Justice Danladi Umar, has finally spoken over his alleged assault on a security guard at Banex Plaza in Abuja last Tuesday.
Justice Umar, who regretted the altercation, said he was left traumatised by the attack on him by a chanting mob during the incident which was not captured in the report of the incident, saying the viral video of the incident was not complete.
Also, the CCT spokesperson, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, also tendered a public apology over his poorly written press release, which he said was an unedited draft he shared with few friends for corrections.
LEADERSHIP had last week reported the commotion at an Abuja shopping mall after Umar and his driver brutalised a security guard at Banex plaza at Wuse 2, Abuja following a misunderstanding over parking space.
In a viral video of the incident, Justice Umar was seen scolding and shouting at the security man. He quickly followed up with a barrage of blows on the youngman and violently kicked him before he was restrained by the crowd, including some policemen, an occurrence that attracted public outrage.
The action, however, did not go well with the onlookers who felt Umar mistreated the security guard, and they suddenly became aggressive and started hurling stones at vehicles in the CCT chairman’s convoy, smashing their windscreens and windows.
In the report, Mr Umar admitted slapping the security guard after the man provoked him.
But speaking to a news agency service, PRNigeria, Justice Umar said that contrary to insinuations, he had no bodyguard or police escort when he visited the plaza.
“As part of my routine activities outside the office and official duties, like any regular Nigerian, I always drive myself and move around freely to places of worship, markets and gyms, among others, without any paraphernalia of office.
“I enjoy such freedom being a believer that one day, one would leave whatever office one occupies and return to living the normal life.
“Therefore, when I was accosted by the plaza guard in a very rude manner on arriving there, I had maintained my accustomed decorum before I was drawn into an unnecessary altercation and subsequently assaulted, with this degenerating into an attack and injury by a mob that was chanting secessionist and sectional slogans,” Umar said.
The CCT chairman added that the video shared on social media captured only an aspect of what ensued and not the beginning where he was molested.
“Since the incident, which left me traumatised after being bruised and treated in the hospital, I have had cause to reflect on the sad course of the incident and I regret being drawn into responding to the situation. This makes me both upset at being cast in a distorted and unfortunate light, while I also have cause to feel deep pains for subsequent response and controversies.
“All said, with an apology tendered to me by one of the suspected aggressors, I believe that the entire incident was avoidable, just as I feel highly disappointed that my action in the public glare in a very brief moment has been misconstrued in the narrative floating across social media,” Umar said.
Meanwhile, the CCT spokesperson, Mr. Ibraheem Alhassan, has issued a public apology for his poorly written statement on the incident, which he said was an unedited draft.
In his statement obtained by PRNigeria, Alhassan wrote thus: “The incident of March 29, 2021, which became public via a viral video clip, caused very strong emotional sensations, pressure and worries that also got to us and impaired our response to it. “The disturbance led to the release of the draft and unedited script to three professional colleagues of mine.
“But unfortunately, the statement found its way to the public space through one of them, in its raw form. The colleague in question has since apologised to me and I have accepted the apology in good faith.
“I feel embarrassed and disappointed with criticism trailing the leaked draft statement which has been described as riddled with grammatical blunders and ethnic slur due to the poor presentation. As a civil servant, I relate with Nigerians with respect and dignity, not minding their religious or ethnic backgrounds.
“I wish to, therefore, tender my unreserved apology to Nigerians and especially the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the Nigerian Institution of Public Relations (NIPR), and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) among others over the unsavoury development,” Alhassan said.
Meanwhile, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, had launched a discreet investigation into the case.
A statement issued by the spokesman of the FCT Command, ASP Yusuf Mariam, said the command would be fair and professional in the conduct of its ongoing investigation even as she urged residents to remain calm and allow the law to take its course.