…Says it’s only investigating misconduct
By Henry Umoru
THE Senate insisted, yesterday, that investigation of Senator Elisha Abbo (PDP, Adamawa North), who allegedly slapped a nursing mother repeatedly at a sex toy shop in Abuja, must continue, despite a court order on the matter.
To ensure that the seven-member ad-hoc committee, led by Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi North), set up to investigate the matter gets to a logical conclusion, the Senate extended the period within which the committee would submit its report by one week.
The insistence of the Senate to continue with the probe came as chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Sam Egwu, asked that the committee be granted additional time to complete its assignment, having met a brick wall in its investigation.
Egwu explained that his committee had interrogated all the parties involved in the case except the victim and the shop owner.
He disclosed that all the parties, including Senator Abbo, FCT Commissioner of Police and counsel for the victim, have declined to comment on the matter, arguing that since the matter was now in court, it had become subjudice.
Senator Egwu said: “I am standing here as chairman of that committee to seek additional time to submit our report.
“Mr President, we set out to do this investigation. In the course of our interaction, our colleague (Senator Abbo) made it clear to us that he has been invited by the police where he was detained for 24 hours and, thereafter, charged to court.
“The case is already in court and it is subjugated. He cannot go ahead and give us any information in order not to be subjugated.
“Thereafter, we invited the police and the CP of Abuja, who came and told us the IG of Police asked him to investigate the matter.
“He also went ahead to tell us that the case is in court and sub-judiced. Therefore, he cannot give us further details.
“After that, we also invited the lawyer to the victim who also repeated the same matter. We tried to reach the victim herself and equally the shop owner, they never showed up.”
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, however, disagreed with the suggestion of Egwu that the committee should hold on until the police and the court concluded with the case on Abbo before proceeding.
According to Lawan, what the Senate is doing is different from the investigation that’s being carried out by the Police.
He noted that while the Senate was investigating one of its members for misconduct, the police are investigating him for a criminal offence.
The Senate subsequently gave the panel one more week to complete the assignment, insisting that its investigation must be carried out to a logical conclusion.
Lawan said: “ Let me clarify this. We are not investigating the criminal aspect, we are investigating misconduct.
“The Senate is not investigating what the Police are investigating. The senator who raised a point of order came under privilege.
“This privileged is about the senator’s misconduct that could be attributed to everybody as a senator or the entire Senate. We have different tracks in this
“We will give you an extension of time, but we cannot stop our activities to wait for the police to finish the court case.”