The head of Nigeria’s prisons service has been summoned to appear before parliament after his security guards allegedly slapped a female MP.
Onyemaechi Mrakpor, 49, and a member of the lower house, told the BBC she was attacked for overtaking the motorcade of Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu on Wednesday.
“One man banged at my car, slapped me and called me a prostitute,” she said.
Mr Ekpendu reportedly watched as the lawmaker was assaulted by his aides within the premises of the parliament.
Mrs Mrakpor said she was shocked and embarrassed by what happened and had written a formal complaint to the police.
“I wondered if that could happen to me, what the other helpless Nigerians will be going through,” she told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.
Cutting Nigeria’s ‘big men’ down to size
The opposition lawmaker, who represents a constituency in the southern Delta state, said the incident highlighted the way women and girls are treated in the country.
Mrs Mrakpor was in tears when she reported the incident, one senior MP told parliament on Thursday.
“This is the time we need to rally behind her not just as a member but as a woman,” MP Femi Gbajabiamila said, The Herald newspaper reported.
It is not clear when Mr Ekpendu, who has not yet reacted to the report, will face the MPs.
Nigerian officials often travel in large convoys, forcing other motorists to make way. There have been frequent accusations that those who refuse to pull over are assaulted.
All heads of security agencies in the parliament have also been summoned to explain why they failed to protect the lawmaker.