Embattled senator, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide (PDP – Edo South) has recounted how some political thugs removed his cap and manhandled him in the presence of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and the State Commissioner of Police.
He made this known in an interview with nassnews in his office.
Urhoghide said the incident occurred at the Benin Airport.
The senator had fallen into troubled waters after he allegedly demanded that the senate invokes Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution which outlines the procedure to remove a president.
The call came as the senate expressed serious misgivings over President Muhammadu Buhari’s unilateral decision to order the payment of $496 million to procure Super Tucano aircraft from the United States Government before approaching the National Assembly for inclusion of the expenditure in the 2018 budget.
Speaking about the incident and the background of what led to it, Urhoghide said, “For the very first time in my life, I have not been so embarrassed, particularly when this one is stemming from my own role as an elected senator from Edo South Senatorial District in the Senate.
“I was subjected to molestation and assault by hoodlums that were recruited in my state to waylay me and perpetrate this evil act. If you can recall, on Thursday, April 27, on the floor of the Senate, after the President of the Senate read the letter that was transmitted to the Senate by Mr. President, I stood up to make my contribution based on the fact that I am the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts. The committee deals with expenditures.
“The letter that was transmitted to the Senate by President Buhari has to do with an expenditure that has been incurred. I looked at the implications of the message that was sent to the Senate, and I referred the Senate to all the constitutional provisions concerning the letter that was submitted to it.
“I mentioned most responsibly on this floor, without any fear of contradiction that, what the President had in mind was a noble idea because the Tucano Aircraft, for which the money was expended was necessary at this time to meet the security challenges in this country.”
Explaining why he turned around to criticise the president’s action, the senator declared,“I spoke against it and I am still speaking against it because the procedure for the payment was wrong because there was no appropriation that was done by the National Assembly. I also went further to say that this was in violation of Section 80 subsections 1, 2, 3, 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). And I said that the 7th Schedule of the con-stitution has equally put a burden on us as elected senators to ensure that we keep our oath of allegiance. Also, our oath of membership of the Senate prescribes that we must do the needful to defend the constitution.
“Therefore, I said that a good intention, a noble intention should have been attended by a whole procedure, that we needed to look at the provisions of the constitution as a way of resolving the issue. Going through the 1999 Constitution as amended, the Office of the President as it is, over his functions and any breach or infraction on the part of the President in the discharge of his duty, is only in Section 143.
“I stood up on the floor and said that we should invoke Section 143. Section 143 has 11 subsections. This section is not a one line item that prescribed impeachment for Mr. President.
“There are procedures and processes to be followed including investigation and the rest. But the misconception that attended it was that I called for the impeachment of Mr. President. I cannot deny the truth or deny what I said.
“I am not ignorant of the provisions of this section of the constitution; that signatures and all of that would have to be done, investigations would have to be conducted along the way.
“But for somebody to work on it and mobilise thugs in my state to lay in wait for me to humiliate me is unacceptable. In fact, thugs removed my cap and threw it away in the presence of my governor and the state Commissioner of Police. You would have seen that on social media.