24 hours after CCTV footage of Senator Elisha Abbo was leaked, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has summoned the lawmaker over the scandal.
The PDP described the senator’s action as an act of lawlessness and callousness, saying that it will never condone it.
Mr. Abbo, 41, representing Adamawa North Senatorial District under the platform of the PDP is the youngest senator in Nigeria.
CCTV footage of him physically assaulting a nursing mother at an adult toy shop in Abuja was leaked by Premium Times on Tuesday.
According to PT, the power-drunk lawmaker descended on the woman because she pleaded with him not to physically assault the adult toy shop owner who the senator said called him a drunk.
The video footage went viral on the internet since it was leaked yesterday.
Many Nigerians, including supporters of the opposition PDP have called for his recall and arrest by the Nigeria Police.
A policeman apparently attached to the senator stood there while the lawmaker repeatedly slapped the woman.
The incident which happened on May 11 was allegedly reported at the Maitama Area Command Headquarters on Nile Street, but the police decided not to act appropriately.
The not so distinguished senator after physically assaulting the woman ordered the police to take her away, saying that he would teach her a lesson.
She reportedly sustained injuries from the attack, but the senator as expected did nothing about it. Instead, he returned to the adult shop the next day to demand for the CCTV footage of the incident. But he was told the CCTV wasn’t functioning.
Watch the video as leaked by PT
The PDP in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, vehemently condemned the action of the senator and consequently setup an investigation into the matter.
“Our party is also shocked that the harmless victim of the unprovoked assault is said to be a nursing mother, who ought to be protected.
“Though this is a 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 investigation into the matter and summoned Senator Elisha Abbo, in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP and code of conduct of our members.”
“The PDP, at all levels of engagement, is reputed for her utmost respect and commitment towards the rights, safety and wellbeing of our citizens, particularly our women, and cannot tolerate any callous assault on any Nigerian,” Mr Ologbondiyan said.
The party further assured Nigerians that it will always stand against injustice.
Senate to probe Senator Abbo
Meanwhile, the Senate earlier today setup an ad-hoc committee to investigate the physical assault incident by Senator Abbo.
The seven-man committee chaired by Senator Sam Egwu is expected to submit its findings in two weeks time. Members of the committee include; Oluremi Tinubu, Matthew Uroghide, Stella Oduah, Dauda Haliru, Danladi Sankara and Mohammed Sani.
The decision of the senate to probe the incident which went viral yesterday came following a point of order raised by Senator Uba Sani, the lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to Sani, the video has gone a long way in tarnishing the image of lawmakers, saying that the senate must take a decisive action to redeem the image of the senate.
“As a member of this Senate, my own credibility is at stake. Some of us have spent most of our lives defending and fighting for the rights of less privileged and most especially, the youth and women.
“I, therefore, call on this Senate to take a decisive action to redeem the image of this Senate,” he said.
Speaking also, the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP), noted that lawmakers as privileged Nigerians must be responsible because being privileged comes with responsibilities.
“We are privileged Nigerians. That means that if you are privileged, it comes with responsibilities. I want us to suspend judgment until we can investigate this matter further. That will be in the interest of justice to all and to Nigerians who look up to us to show good example,” he said.
Also, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, the lawmaker representing Ekiti Central under the platform of the APC, noted that Nigerians must be able to see lawmakers as people willing to lead by example.
The lawmaker noted that they must be ready to protect the right of Nigerians and the nursing mother who was assaulted.
What we saw is a clear violation of sections 33, 34 and 35 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which provides respectively for the right to life, right to dignity of human person and right to personal liberty.
“I believe there is a need for the Senate to set up an ad hoc committee to thoroughly investigate this issue and give each side a fair hearing so that to the public and our own conscience, we would be able to ensure that justice is not just dispensed but that it is done transparently,” he said.
Finally, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, in his statement noted that the report remains an allegation until an investigation is done and both parties are granted fair hearing.
“This morning, I received a lot of calls about the incident. I believe that this Senate will be responsive. We cannot condone any act of violence by anyone. If there is an allegation against any of us, we must ensure that justice prevails.
“We are going to set up a bi-partisan committee to investigate the issue. That will be an opportunity for our colleague to defend himself and also an opportunity for the lady assaulted to present and prove her case. This will be a Senate that will work for Nigerians.
Police IG orders arrest of Senator Abbo following protest by concerned Nigerians
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the arrest of Senator Abbo following a protest by Concerned Nigerians earlier today.
The Nigeria Police in a statement noted that the IGP directed the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, to investigate the matter.
Read the full statement by police (as sent to Naija Buzz News) below;
ALLEGED ASSAULT ON A NIGERIAN FEMALE BY SENATOR ABBO ELISHA: IGP ORDERS HOLISTIC INVESTIGATION
The Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM,mni has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault on a female Nigerian by Senator Abbo Elisha.
Specifically, the IGP directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, CP Bala Ciroma to provide a personal and round-the-clock supervision of every facet of the investigation, including the Forensic analysis of the video currently in circulation as well as the actions/inactions of the Policeman seen in the video footage.
The IGP, while assuring citizens of utmost professionalism by the Police in the handling of the matter, promised that the Force will ensure that justice is manifestly done in this case irrespective of whose ox is gored.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, FCT, CP Bala Ciroma has already established contact with the victim of the assault and has commenced investigation in earnest into the case.
The IGP thanked Nigerians for their massive show of empathy and concern for the rights of their fellow citizen and urged continuous citizens’ engagement in the tackling of the wider challenges of security in our country.
How Atiku reacted to the incident
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in his reaction to the physical assault on the nursing mother by Senator Abbo, described it as sad and inexcusable.
He further advised the senator to publicly apologise and then hand himself over to the police to face the law.
“I’ve seen the alleged assault video involving Sen. Elisha Abbo. The video is sad, inexcusable. I know the Senator quite well. But the law is clear and leaders must lead by example.”
“I advise him to publicly apologize, voluntarily go to the police and show a good example expected of a young leader. I also call on our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to take necessary disciplinary action and the Nigeria Police to ensure the law takes its full course,” Atiku said.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.