Danladi Umar, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, has reacted to the viral video showing him assaulting a security guard, insisting he was attacked by persons he described as “Biafran boys”.
A video circulated on social media on Tuesday, showing Umar slapping a security guard at Banex Plaza, Abuja. The action elicited lots of reactions online from Nigerians, who questioned if the judge still had the capacity to hold office.
But in a statement signed by Ibraheem Al-Hassan, the CCT’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Umar denied that he assaulted the said security guard, noting that it was the other way round as he was attacked.
Umar, in the statement littered with grammatical errors, said the incident revolved around an argument he had with the security guard over parking space at the aforementioned plaza, which, he said, he has visited for over 18 years.
He explained that he met a vacant space and had attempted to park his car there but the security guard directed him not to do so. He insisted that the guard should provide a reason why he could not park there but no concrete explanation was given.
He stated that as he was about to leave the contested area, some persons who he branded as “Biafran boys” stormed the place and ordered the closure of the plaza’s gate.
The CCT Chairman noted that despite the intervention of some policemen operating around the area, the aggrieved persons threw various sharp objects at the car, which led to the dislocation of his finger, as well as the destruction of the car’s windscreen.
He explained that a police team from the Maitama police station had to be called to provide reinforcement and intervene in the matter.
The CCT spokesperson noted that if the Chairman had wanted to cause trouble or to intimidate anyone, he would have gone to the plaza prepared.
The statement read: “Our attention was drawn on a report from some online publication with a video cliff suggesting Hon Chairman, Justice Danladi Y. Umar assaulted a Security Guard at Banex Plaza.”
“To start with, the said plaza has been his usual place of visits for the past 18 years for shopping and repairs of his phones, and in all these periods there have never been any time he had any turmoil with anybody.”
“Unfortunately, yesterday’s altercations started over a packing lot, which Chairman met vacant and it was directly opposite a shop he want to make a purchase and to fixe his phone, when the young Security guard sighted him, he ordered that Chairman should not pack his car in that particular empty space, but Chairman asked why, the security guard couldn’t convinced chairman, though Chairman didn’t identify himself, because to him is needless and is a place he visited often, but the boy was rode in his approached and threaten to deal with Chairman if he refuse to leave the scene.”
“Again, if Chairman had went there to cause trouble or intimidate some one, as suggested in the report, he would have gone there in his full official paraphernalia, but he went there alone with his younger brother.”
“The Police men seen in the video cliff were not the Chairman’s police team, they were policemen operating around the plaza whom at first instance intervened before the arrival of police team from Maitama Police station. As the few policemen in the complex were apparently overwhelmed by the mobs, consisting of BIAFRAN boys throwing matches and shape object to his car, which led to deep cut and dislocation in one of his finger, causing damage to his car, smashing his windscreen.”
“At a point he attempted to leave the scene, these same miscreants, BIAFRAN boy ordered for the closure of the gate thereby assaulting him before the arrival of police team from Maitama police station.”
“An incident like this when it happened, sympathy usually goes to the low personalities. Though is unfortunate as I said, it ought not to have happened.”