It is worrisome that the National Assembly is gradually descending into lawlessness, anarchy and even debauchery. In recent times, the nation has been regaled with scenes of crass obscenity from both Chambers of the National Assembly, including the exchange of fisticuffs, jumping high walls, vulgar abuses and sundry criminal and objectionable behaviours. Just recently, it was alleged by the United States Embassy that some members of the National Assembly were caught soliciting prostitutes whilst on official assignment in the US, although this is yet to be confirmed. In the House of Representatives, the members are described as “Honourable” whilst in the Senate, they are referred to as “Distinguished”. To be honourable, one must be respectable and be of good moral character, one must exude creditable conduct that is consistent with an untarnished reputation. To be distinguished, one must be eminently distinctive in moral sanctity, excelling in good conduct and utterance. Thus, a member of the National Assembly is, by all means, a role model, setting national examples for the nation. The National Assembly in general has been far from this, even though some few of its members do merit to be so described. A distinguished male Senator cannot be heard to threaten to beat up a fellow female Senator, no matter the provocation. It debases womanhood and the very institution of marriage, for a man to boast of any capacity to impregnate a married female Senator, suggesting an act of force or even rape. Coming from a lawmaker, it connotes the egregious suggestion of the possibility of an unholy alliance, between two separate married partners, contrary to the various laws of our land. In particular, Section 34 (1) of the 1999 Constitution states that “every individual shall be entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly – no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman and degrading treatment.” The conduct and utterances of Senator Dino Melaye, towards Senator (Mrs) Oluremi Tinubu, leaves much to be desired of a supposedly distinguished Senator. The Senate should have in place, a mechanism that will guaranty the protection of women, against the provocations and libido of high risk Senators, who are otherwise susceptible to wanton lewdness and sexual harassment. When it is considered that it is this same Senate that is presently considering a Bill to punish sexual harassment in higher institutions, then the conduct or misconduct of Senator Dino Melaye should not go unpunished. Under and by virtue of sections 351 and 352 of the Criminal Code Act, the boast and threat by Senator Melaye, to beat up Senator Tinubu, constitute the serious offences of attempted assault and battery, which if convicted upon his proper trial, should attract a punishment of fourteen years imprisonment. Section 352 of the Criminal Code Act provides as follows: “Any person who assaults another with intent to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.” Sections 357 and 358 of the same Code also define punishment for unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman. This law is deemed to have been made by the National Assembly of Nigeria and same must be enforced by the Senate against Senator Melaye, the same way it would have been enforced against the ordinary Nigerian who is not a Senator. Although I sympathise with the Senate and indeed the National Assembly over the overbearing tendencies of the Buhari presidency, in lining up its principal officers for phantom criminal trial solely for the purpose of intimidation, the means of tackling and taming such dictatorship is not in the molestation of fellow female Senators, but for the entire National Assembly to stand firm and compile all the impeachable offences against the President and commence impeachment proceedings against him, forthwith. Accordingly, I demand that Senator Dino Melaye should tender an unreserved apology to Senator Oluremi Tinubu and to the people of Nigeria, for his unwarranted misconduct and for the Senate to demonstrate its capacity to protect its vulnerable members from molestation and attack. By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Esq]]>

Subscribe ToTheNigeriaLawyer News!