46 women groups demand apology from Saraki
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.