UPDATED: Elisha Abbo appears before Senate committee for assaulting woman

Senator Elisha Abbo
Senator Elisha Abbo facing the Senate investigative panel

A senator, Elisha Abbo, caught on camera assaulting a woman, has appeared before a Senate committee set up to investigate the incident.

Mr Abbo appeared before the Senate ad-hoc committee on Tuesday afternoon.

The Adamawa senator, however, refused to take an oath before the panel. He also refused to speak in the presence of journalists.

Persons invited before Senate committees are made to take oaths to pledge to say the truth before they are allowed to testify.

The lawmaker and members of the committee exchanged words when Mr Abbo insisted he would address the panel before taking an oath.

Oluremi Tinubu, a member of the committee, had asked Mr Abbo to swear an oath before saying anything. But he bluntly refused; saying the case was in court.

“This matter is in court. I cannot be talking in front of cameras when the matter is already in court. That’s subjudice,” he said.

“Distinguished. You just joined us. We have a procedure, and we are also under the law. You don’t come in here and dictate to us what should be done,” Mrs Tinubu told the opposition senator.

“You are on the other side now. Everybody requires a fair hearing. What is going on with you affects us as a body, which is why the Senate President constituted this committee.

“You don’t come in here and dictate to us what procedures to follow. You undermine us by even trying to do that. You haven’t even listened to us.


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“Do you want us to protect you? Or do you want us to defend you…do you realise we can also suspend you,” she said.

An angry Mr Abbo promptly interjected “I will not sit here and listen to you threaten me with suspension. I am a senator like you. You cannot threaten me with suspension.”


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Chaos, then calm

There was chaos which lasted for some minutes. Journalists were asked to leave for the meeting to continue behind the closed door.

A few minutes later, journalists were invited back in after which the lawmaker took an oath and requested to address the panel behind the closed doors.

Again journalists were asked to leave the room.

About half an hour later, the chairman of the committee, Sam Egwu, told journalists that Mr Abbo narrated his side of the event “including what was not captured on camera.”

“He made a statement. In the statement, he was able to tell what transpired throughout the period, including those that were not captured on video.

“We have also asked our questions, and we have asked him for people who can bear witness to all he said. Tomorrow, we will continue the investigation.

“The victim was also invited, but we didn’t see her here. We were told she is not feeling well, and we have asked her to come and see us.

“Tomorrow, we are going to see all the witnesses that were mentioned. The police, the victim, the shop owner, the friends and all those that were there. It will not be behind closed doors,” he said.

Mr Abbo was caught on camera assaulting a woman in a sex toy shop in Abuja.

The action elicited a public uproar with Nigerians calling for his prosecution.

The police arraigned him before a court on Monday. He was granted him bail of N5 million.


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