The leader of the Etche Local Government Legislative Council of Rivers State, Mrs. Cynthia Nwala has been physically assaulted by some persons.
Photos of the incident seen by Naija News show that her clothes were torn, exposing sensitive parts of her body.
Apart from that, her car was also damaged in the ensuing trouble, with the rear windshield of her car smashed during the incident that took place on Monday.
The scenario was said to have unfolded within the council premises as a result of the leadership crises among the councilors.
Speaking on the matter, Nwala accused the council chairman, Obinna Anyanwu of ordering his Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chinedu Onyechi, and his boys to deal with her.
She told journalists; “I met the gate of the council locked as I was leaving the office, closed for the day. The CSO said the LG Chairman ordered them to lock the gate. I asked why, they said I was going home with the Mace. I said the Mace is for Leader.
“I am to secure the mace due to what is going on in the council. I don’t know what the other councilors are up to. The Deputy Leader is acting like he’s the Leader, and one of them urged me to be careful, that I should see what they’re planning.
“The Council is under renovation. The place is not secure and the Clerk of the House is not working with me. So the CSO said the Chairman said they should come after me. They vandalized my car and started beating me, tore my clothes. It was a terrible situation.”
However, reacting to the allegation from Nwala, the Etche local government boss, Anyanwu in a statement on Tuesday issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Robinson Oluor urged members of the public to disregard the claims by the legislative leader.
He also denied the involvement of his CSO in the humiliation suffered by Nwala, adding that a full-scale investigation has been ordered into the matter.
He claimed it was the leader, Nwala with the assistance of some hired thugs that attempted to escape with the mace of the house but were prevented by some members of the assembly who intercepted her.
The statement titled ‘RESPONSE TO MEDIA ASSERTIONS ON ALLEGED ASSAULT ON HON CYNTHIA NWALA’ reads: “The attention of Etche Local Government Council has been drawn to online speculations, alleging that the Leader Etche Legislative Assembly, Hon. Cynthia Nwala was assaulted by the Chief Security Officer to the Etche Council Chairman, Hon. Prince Chinedu Onyeche on Monday, October 4, 2021.
“While, we do not wish to join issues with the peddlers of false and mischievous information, it is of great importance that we set the record straight so that the general public would be adequately informed of what actually transpired at the council secretariat in Okehi.
“For the record, Hon. (Dr.) Obinna Anyanwu never directed his Chief Security Officer to harass, intimidate or assault any serving Councillor of the Etche Legislative Assembly.
“The Chief Secuirty Officer to the Council Chairman is not a member of Etche Legislative Assembly and will never be part of the internal issues of the Etche Legislative Assembly.
“It is also important to clearly state that the Chief Security Officer to the Council Chairman never attacked or harassed the Leader of the House; as he is not one of the councillors and the Etche Local Government Council leadership has much respect for the Etche Legislative Assembly.
“That if the councilors have their internal problems, it should be resolved internally.
“The information made available to the Etche Local Government Council has it that the Leader of the House, Hon. Cynthia Nwala with the assistance of a team of armed policemen and over 20 armed thugs she hired made a forceful attempt to take the mace, which is a legislative property and by administrative procedure, is meant to be under the custody of the ‘sergeant-at-arms’.
“Some members of Etche Legislative Assembly, who intercepted the house leader with the mace, alerted the Chief Security Officer to the Council who was in Okehi and quickly intervened and restored sanity between Cynthia Nwala and her fellow councillors.
“The CSO only responded to the distress calls from the councillors and ensured that the mace remained safe and not taken away.
“That if the councillors had a problem with the Leader of the House in the process of retrieving the mace that is constitutionally meant to be with the sergeant-at-arms, before the swift response of the CSO, whose primary responsibility is the security of lives and property in Etche, why is the chairman been blackmailed?
“It is important to know that according to section 104 of Criminal Code Act, any public officer who does what is not within his/her office or authorities commits an Abuse of Office which on conviction, is liable to three years imprisoment.
“On a final note, the Etche Council Chairman, Hon. (Dr.) Obinna Anyanwu, Chief Security Officer to the Council, Hon. Prince Chinedu Onyeche have no hand in the alleged attack on the leader of the house.
“The general public should disregard the concocted and manipulative story with no substantive pictorial or video evidence making round that the CSO to the Council Chairman attacked Hon. Cynthia Nwala.
“Hon. (Dr.) Obinna Anyanwu has launched an investigation into the matter.
“The Etche Council Chairman remains committed to peace, progress and development of the local government area as evidenced through the infrastructural revolution going on in all the wards in Etche.”