SSS Interrogates Ogunewe Over Brawl with Bankole


ABUJA, June 03, (THEWILL) – The State Security Service (SSS) today interrogated Representative Independence Ogunewe (PDP Imo) at the SSS office located at the National Assembly over his attempt to assault the Speaker of the House, Dimeji Bankole on Wednesday.

Ogunewe and Bankole had an open brawl before the opening of plenary session of the House yesterday. Both men were reported to have been restrained by their colleagues who were at the scene to prevent them from exchanging blows.

The representative and Bankole are known to have been at loggerheads since Bankole succeeded former speaker, Patricia Etteh.

He was escorted to the SSS office at the basement of the National Assembly at about 11.40am by security operatives attached to House Speaker Bankole.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that 10 minutes later, Ogunewe appeared from the SSS office sandwiched by four SSS men who ushered him to the House of Representatives chamber.

Efforts to get comments from Ogunewe on the development were unsuccessful as National Assembly correspondents who waited at the entrance of the office could not get him to answer any questions.

But THEWILL gathered that the Director General of the SSS, Alhaji Afrakiya Gadzama visited the SSS office at the National Assembly because of the matter.

Ogunewe again made a brief stop at the SSS basement office after the day’s session accompanied by Representative Solomon Ahwinahwi (PDP Delta).

He was instructed to report to the agency’s headquarters later for further questioning.

Speaking later on the incident, House Committee Chairman on Information, Eseme Eyibo told reporters that "once the conduct of a public officer is in breach of acceptable standards, it becomes a threat to security.

Ogunewe’s conduct is in breach of the code of behaviour of the House of Representatives and visiting that on the speaker who is the number 4 citizen of this country is a big threat to security and if it is not properly handled, it can degenerate into anarchy.

"So, if he was interrogated to give account of his conduct as a public officer, it falls within the jurisdiction of the security agencies of Nigeria."