46 women groups de­mand apol­ogy from Saraki

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Ab­bas Ji­moh

A coali­tion of 46 women groups, un­der the aegis of Leg­isla­tive Ad­vo­cacy Coali­tion on Vi­o­lence Against Women (LACVAW), has asked the Se­nate pres­i­dent, Bukola Saraki, to apol­o­gise to Se­na­tor Oluremi Tin­ubu, over the al­leged at­tack on her by Se­na­tor Dino Me­laye.

Chair­per­son of LACVAW Board of Trustees, Dr. Char­maine Pereira, and found­ing di­rec­tor, Women Ad­vo­cates Re­search and Doc­u­men­ta­tion Cen­tre (WARDC), Dr. Abi­ola Akiy­ode-Afo­labi, who spoke to re­porters in Abuja, yesterday, at the end of a meet­ing at­tended by some fe­male se­na­tors and oth­ers from the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, said the or­gan­i­sa­tion would to­day demon­strate at the Na­tional As­sem­bly and sub­mit a pe­ti­tion on the mat­ter.

Pereira said the threats of phys­i­cal as­sault and use of sex­u­ally de­mean­ing lan­guage, by Me­laye, against Mrs. Tin­ubu, con­sti­tuted of­fences un­der the Vi­o­lence Against Per­sons (Pro­hi­bi­tion) Act, 2015.

“On the 14th of July, Se­na­tor Me­laye’s press state­ment about the in­ci­dent added fur­ther in­sult to in­jury by com­ment­ing that, ‘Bi­o­log­i­cally it is even im­pos­si­ble to im­preg­nate Mrs. Tin­ubu be­cause she has ar­rived menopause.’ Such a state­ment con­sti­tutes yet an­other ver­bal as­sault that is sex­u­ally de­mean­ing and thor­oughly ob­nox­ious,” she said.

She said the Se­nate’s si­lence about Me­laye’s con­duct on the ba­sis that it took place dur­ing a closed-door ses­sion would not only be eth­i­cally in­ad­e­quate, but also in­di­cate complicity with the pre­vail­ing im­punity in gen­der based vi­o­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion.

Also, an ex­pert on crim­i­nol­ogy, Prof. Ayo At­senuwa, said while com­ments made by Me­laye in the Se­nate cham­ber may en­joy priv­i­lege, his com­ments out­side the cham­ber were not cov­ered and may he be li­able to two years in prison and a fine of N200,000 if found li­able and con­victed.

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