The embattled chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, has claimed that contrary to the content of a circulated video, he was a victim of an assault by people who chanted “secessionist and sectional slogans”.
Mr Umar was caught on video assaulting a security guard at the popular Banex Plaza in Wuse, Abuja.
The security guard, Clement Sargwak, later told Premium Times that Mr Umar assaulted him because he told the public official that he parked wrongly and would need to remove his vehicle from where he parked.
Mr Umar, however, told PRNigeria that the video in circulation did not reveal the true situation of what happened.
He did not deny asking the CCT spokesperson to issue a statement blaming the mob attack on him on ‘Biafran boys,’ a statement condemned by many Nigerians for targeting a particular ethnic group. In his interview with PRNigeria, Mr Umar appeared to double down on his claim.
“Therefore, when I was accosted by the Plaza guard in a very rude manner on arriving there, I had maintained my accustomed decorum before I was drawn into an unnecessary altercation and subsequently assaulted, with this degenerating into an attack and injury by a mob that was chanting secessionist and sectional slogans,” he said.
While not denying attacking the security guard, Mr Umar said viral video clip captured only an aspect of the incident and left out the part where he was molested.
Although he expressed regrets acting in the manner he did, he failed to apologise for attacking the security guard.
He rather claimed that one of his attackers had apologised to hm.
Mr Umar said, “Since the incident, which left me traumatised after being bruised and treated in the hospital, I have had cause to reflect on the sad course of the incident and I regret being drawn into responding to the situation.
“This makes me both upset at being cast in a distorted and unfortunate light, while I also have cause to feel deep pains for subsequent response and controversies.
“All said, with an apology tendered to me by one of the suspected aggressors, I believe that the entire incident was avoidable, just as I feel highly disappointed that my action in the public glare in a very brief moment has been misconstrued in the narrative floating across social media.”
Meanwhile, the CCT spokesperson, Ibraheem Alhassan, who issued the controversial error-filled statement has also tendered his apology.
He described the statement as “poorly written” and “an unedited draft”.
He stated in the statement released to PR Nigeria, “The incident of March 29, 2021, which became public via a viral video clip caused very strong emotional sensations, pressure and worries that also got to us and impaired our response to it.
“The disturbance led to the release of the draft and unedited script to three professional colleagues of mine. But unfortunately, the statement found its way to the public space through one of them, in its raw form. The colleague in question has since apologised to me and I have accepted the apology in good fate.
“I feel embarrassed and disappointed with criticism trailing the leaked draft statement which has been described as riddled with grammatical blunders and ethnic slur due to the poor presentation. As a civil servant, I relate with Nigerians with respect and dignity, not minding their religious or ethnic backgrounds.”