By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE National Association of Seadogs, NAS, has taken a swipe at the senate for not meting out the appropriate sanctions to Senator Elisha Abbo who represents Adamawa North Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for slapping a nursing mother last year.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja about two weeks ago fined Senator Abbo N50 million for assault.
NAS, also known as Pyrates Confraternity said that the Senate is expected to be made up of senior citizens that have distinguished themselves in diverse fields and ought to bring their wealth of experience to bear in the quality of bills debated and passed into law, adding that Senator Elisha Abbo’s conduct was a blemish on the hallowed body.
The association in a statement signed by its two Presidents of Abuja branches, Anderson Oseh (Zuma Deck) and Victor Ofili (Sahara Deck), commended the judiciary for the judgment on Monday, September 28 for awarding 50 million Naira damages against Senator Elisha Abbo.
According to the statement, “Back in July 2019, Nigerians were unwilling spectators to the macabre drama of a video that went viral wherein a Senator of the Federal Republic literarily descended heavily on a lady at a sex toy shop where she worked as a sales assistant, landing several slaps on her.
“The lady, Osimibibra Warmate, turned out to be a nursing mother and her offence was that she ‘insulted’ the senator who was a customer at the shop. His Police Orderly and three others that were seen in the video, rather than restrain the senator, joined in harassing and haranguing the poor lady.
“Nigerians had risen in their numbers to express their outrage at the pugnacious and bellicose behavior of the Senator. Women groups took umbrage and threatened fire and brimstone.
That a lawmaker of the rank of a senator will be found breaking the law in such brazen manner is bad enough.
“The subsequent apology the senator issued, tepid and desultory as it was, is an afterthought; it dripped with insincerity. Had he not been caught in a video which then went viral, Senator Elisha Abbo would not have bothered to put up any pretended contrition.
“We of the National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity use this to lend our voice in support of the judgment which once again reassures us that all hope is not lost for our dear country.
“As an organization, we hold certain values very dear some of which includes speaking up for the voiceless in the society. Ms. Osimibibra Warmate, the victim of Senator Abbo’s unchivalrous behaviour, represents not only women and mothers but also the weak, the voiceless and the defenceless in the society. We will stand up to defend anyone of these where their rights and privileges is in issue.
“We also use this to commend the lawyers that represented the woman for their tenacity in not losing faith when the magistrate court earlier upheld the nolle prosequi submission of the defence in the criminal case brought against the Senator, even with the video evidence in tow! Undeterred, the woman’s lawyers changed their course of action from a criminal lawsuit to a civil matter.
“We make bold to state further that our commendation of the judgment is not just because of the amount awarded against the senator but rather in what it symbolizes. The judgment reverberates round because the judiciary has taken up the gauntlet and summoned the moral authority to restitute the affronted rights of a citizen.”
Continuing, NAS said, “The conduct of the senator is the wont of ‘big men’ in Nigeria where the rights of the less privileged is trampled with impunity; and the institutions vested with the responsibility of safeguarding these rights – the police in this instance, have been appropriated as personal guards by the same ‘big men’ and thus complicit in the act itself.
“We also use this medium, to call out the National Assembly, being the primary constituency of Senator Abbo, to be more responsive to issues like this. They failed to live up to expectation. Beyond the half-hearted condemnation, there was no serious action from that body.
“Perhaps they need reminding that the legislature being the most direct representatives of the people is the cornerstone of democracy. The Senate is supposedly a body of senior citizens that have distinguished themselves in diverse fields, and that ought to bring their wealth of experience to bear in the quality of bills debated and passed into law; addressing urgent national issues and nation-building in general.
“Senator Elisha Abbo’s conduct is a blemish on that hallowed body. He was even touted as being the youngest senator, being just 41 years. This is one youth that has brought odium and dishonour to that demographics.”