Biodun Olujimi, deputy minority whip of the senate, says she was accidentally hit while her aide was beaten up by Kingsley Oti, leader of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).
Olujimi said this in reaction to an uproar at the National Assembly Complex on Monday, resulting from a fight that broke out between her aide and the PASAN leader.
The lawmaker had reportedly ordered her security detail to “slap” Oti for attempting to ride in the same elevator with her.
Recounting the incident to PUNCH, the senator said she did not order her aide to slap anybody, adding that the aide got manhandled by Oti and his colleagues.
She said Oti was unruly when he was prevented from entering the elevator which was reserved for members of the senate and the house of representatives.
“He got angry that the man was blocking him from gaining entrance into the lift,” she said.
“And they started to hit him and tore his shirt. I called him and said, ‘Why are you doing this?’
“He said they own this place. It was not really about me, it was about if it was right for a member of staff to assault anybody.
“I insisted that he must follow me to the authorities. They beat up the security man and tore his shirt. For what? Because he was doing his job?
“I told them that I am a politician and I’m not afraid of anyone of them. If I was afraid, I wouldn’t have been here.”
But telling his own side of the story, Oti said he only retaliated after he was assaulted by Olujimi’s aide.
According to him, the senator had held him in a tight grip during the confrontation, causing some buttons on his shirt to pop off.
Oti said: “He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ And I also asked him, ‘Who are you?’
“They were two and the other one slapped me. Of course, I had to return the slap and there was a fight between me and the guy.
“It was after the fight that the woman- the senator- now held me and pulled my shirt.
“Look at it (four buttons missing), I had to use pins to hold my shirt. I don’t know what her intention was. That was all.”
The National Assembly Complex is a four-storey building with four elevators. Each of the four elevators has been reserved for use by the lawmakers on meeting days.
The reserved elevators are usually operated by sergeants-at-arms on plenary days to maintain law and order.