The Newspaper Distributors Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom state chapter, has threatened to sue a former senator from Akwa Ibom state, Anietie Okon for publicly assaulting a newspaper vendor, Ndifreke Etim.
The association has asked Okon to tender a public apology to Etim or be sued, Premium Times reports.
Okon was said to have slapped the newspaper vendor multiple times somewhere around the banquet hall of the state Government House.
The incident reportedly took place last Wednesday during the swearing-in ceremony of the paramount ruler of Ibeno local government area, Awong Effiong Achianga as the chairman of Akwa Ibom state council of traditional rulers.
Narrating what happened, Etim said he was hawking newspapers near the entrance door of the banquet hall when the former senator came out from the hall and walked past him towards his car. He then suddenly stopped midway and asked him to come.
According to him, he thought Okon wanted to buy newspapers and so he ran to meet him. He was however shocked when he got a ‘hot slap’ instead from the senator.
Etim said: “When he finished slapping me, he accused me of stealing his wallet. But God knows I am not a thief, I sell newspapers to take care of myself and my family. He didn’t even search me to see if I had his wallet on me or not.”
He noted that two other vendors who witnessed what happened begged Okon to stop molesting him, while three able-bodied young men who were with the former senator just stood by to watch.
Etim stated that he sustained bruises from the assault and spent N4,000 to treat himself.
He added that he was yet to fathom why Okon decided to pick on him.
The vendor, who said he spent N4,000 to treat himself of bruises sustained from the incident, said he could not figure out why the former senator picked on him.
When contacted, the former senator said: “I don’t want to respond to such an issue.”