FCT Police Command Invites senator, victim
Senate sets up 7-member ad hoc c’ttee to probe senator
Reps condemn assault
Let the law take its course —Atiku
PDP summons him
Arrest, charge Abbo, Keyamo urges Police
Abbo deserves to be in prison — Dabiri-Erewa
By Henry Umoru, Kingsley Omonobi, Dirisu Yakubu, Gabriel Ewepu, Luminous Jannamike & Henry Ojelu,
Following the directive by Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, the Police in Abuja has commenced an investigation into the public assault of a woman who was beaten almost to pulp by Senator Elisha Abbo.
Consequently, the Commissioner of Police FCT, Bala Ciroma, has contacted both Abbo and the female (victim), as well as the police orderly to report at the command headquarters for investigation.
The Senate also, yesterday, set up a seven-member ad-hoc committee to investigate the allegation against the senator and report back at plenary in two weeks, just as Senator Abbo wept at the secretariat of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, apologising to Nigerians for his misbehaviour.
Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who disclosed this while addressing a group of protesters at Force Headquarters, assured that justice would not only be done in the matter but would be seen to have been done.
He noted that the police, under the leadership of IGP Adamu, would not sit by and watch or condone the molestation of any Nigerian.
Group petitions IGP
A group, Concerned Nigerians Movement, led by Deji Adeyanju, Adebayo Raphael, Ariyo Dare Atoye, Bukky Shonibare and Moses Paul, had stormed the Force Headquarters with a petition on assault against the senator, who was alleged to have beaten up the woman in a sex toy shop in Abuja, and asked that he and his police orderly be arrested.
The petition addressed to the IGP read: “We would like to draw your attention to the physical assault of a woman at a sex toy shop in Abuja, by a newly elected senator of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Elisha Abbo, representing Adamawa North senatorial district.
“According to a report by renowned news medium, Premium Times, Senator Elisha Abbo was at a sex toy shop in Abuja May 11, 2019, at about 6pm, to purchase some sex toys with three young women, one of whom was said to have vomited multiple times, due to excessive consumption of alcohol.
“But this, according to Premium Times, displeased the shop owner; an unnamed female, who complained bitterly about the defacement of her shop as a result of the vomit.
“A CCTV footage embedded in the report published by Premium Times on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, shows how Senator Elisha Abbo, apparently enraged by the shop owner’s complaint and displeasure over the vomit of his female companion, decided to exert his angst on an unarmed female friend of the shop owner who was also captured by the CCTV footage.
“Senator Abbo was captured pummeling the woman as though he were a gung-ho soldier fighting to the death in a brutal war.’’
But Senator Abbo claimed the incident occurred in March and not May as reported in the media and also denied assaulting the woman.
Senate sets up 7-member probe panel
Similarly, the Senate, yesterday, set up a seven-member ad-hoc committee, led by Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North), to investigate the allegation against Abbo and report back at plenary in two weeks.
Other members of the committee include Senators Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central); Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South); Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra North); Danladi Sankara (APC, Jigawa North-West); Sani Musa (Niger) and Daudu Haliru Jika (Bauchi Central).
Announcing the committee, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, promised that the Senate would be responsive and responsible, stressing that it would continue to remain the Senate of the people.
Resolution of the Senate to set up the committee was a sequel to a point of order by Senator Uba Sani (APC, Kaduna Central).
Soon after Senator Sani presented his case before comments from other senators, the Senate president who interjected, said: “Let me interject at this point that whatever we saw remains an allegation and until we investigate and find out what happened. Both parties will have a very fair hearing.”
Reps condemn the alleged assault
Reacting in a similar vein, the House of Representatives condemned the alleged assault, following a Matter of Privilege by Beni Lar (APC-Plateau) at plenary, yesterday.
Lar said it was heartbreaking to see a lady being beaten up in that manner, adding that a lawmaker should not be seen indulging in such an act.
According to her, ‘’even if she is your wife, you are not supposed to beat a lady like that in public or elsewhere and I call on the House to condemn the act in its entirety.’’
In his ruling, Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), said every right thinking Nigerian should condemn such act.
“We condemn it in its entirety and I believe the Senate will deal with the matter but if not, we shall step in,” he said.
Let the law take its course —Atiku
Former Vice President and presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, asked the senator to apologise publicly to the lady and Nigerians for his act.
Atiku said in his twitter handle: “The video is sad, inexcusable. I know the senator quite well. But the law is clear and leaders must lead by example.
“I advised him to publicly apologise. Voluntarily go to the police and show a good example of a young leader. I also call on our party, PDP, to take necessary disciplinary action and the Police to ensure the law takes its full course.’’
PDP summons senator
Reacting to the assault, National Working Committee, NWC, of PDP summoned the senator to explain himself on the allegation.
PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said as a law-abiding and upstanding party, it “detests and completely condemn such act of lawlessness and callousness as exhibited in the video and will, therefore, never condone it.
“Our party is shocked that the harmless victim of the unprovoked assault is said to be a nursing mother, who ought to be protected.
“Though this is personal conduct of an individual, which has no bearing with the culture of our party, the PDP, however, holds that no responsible person will condone such an attitude.
“In the light of this, the NWC has commenced an investigation into the matter and summons Senator Elisha Abbo in line with the provisions of the constitution of the PDP and code of conduct of our members.
CSOs threaten court action
Meanwhile, some Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have threatened to sue Abbo over the assault on the lady.
Speaking on the move to sue Abbo, National Coordinator, Nation First Foundation, Elidad Oniawa, said the action of the senator was barbaric and oppression of the human rights of the victim.
He said: “We are not happy with this senator, we are already talking with our lawyers to start a court process and we will ensure Abbo issued and punished under the law.”
Arrest, charge Abbo, Keyamo urges Police
Also reacting via his twitter handle, human rights lawyer, Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, called on the police to immediately arrest the senator.
Keyamo, who was also the spokesman of Buhari Campaign Organisation in the last election, said: “The case of Senator Elisha Abbo is very straightforward: the police must immediately take three steps: first arrest him (no formal complaint is needed with the evidence on tape). Second, obtain his statement (if he’s willing to make one) and that of the victim and third, arraign him in court.”
Abbo deserves to be in prison —Dabiri-Erewa
On her part, Chairperson/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, tweeted that Abbo deserved to be in prison over assault on a harmless sales employee.
“To think that this PDP guy was said to have ‘defeated’ one of our most respected female parliamentarians, Senator Binta Garba, the Senate must not protect him. He should be charged. The footage is enough evidence. He deserves to be in prison,” Dabiri-Erewa tweeted.
Abbo weeps, apologises to Nigerians
However, in a mild drama, yesterday, Abbo wept at the national secretariat of PDP, Abuja, where he apologised for his misconduct.
The 41-year-old lawmaker who battled to control his emotions, said he was sorry for what happened, adding that regardless of the provocation, his action did not portray him as a good ambassador of the Senate, the PDP and the youths of Nigeria.
He said: “It is with a deep sense of remorse and responsibility that I, Senator Ishaku Abbo, profoundly apologise to all Nigerians, the Senate, the Peoples Democratic Party, my family as well as our mothers—the Nigerian women.
“I personally apologise to Barbara (the lady he reportedly assaulted) and her family for my action, which has brought immense discomfort to our body polity.
“l have never been known or associated with such actions in the past. Regardless of what transpired prior to my expression of anger, I am sincerely sorry and plead that all men and women of good conscience should have the heart to forgive me. To err is human, to forgive is divine.
“To the Church of God everywhere in the world, I am sorry. As an ambassador of Christ, much is expected of me.
“My family and religious upbringing do not give approval to such conduct and for this, as a leader, I seek forgiveness before God and all those who feel offended by my action.
“Indeed, this episode has taught me a very great lesson, both as a private citizen and a public officer, particularly as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria upon whom public confidence is reposed.”