Senator Elisha Abbo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who rained slaps on a nursing mother at a sex toy shop in Abujahas cautioned the investigative panel hearing his alleged case of assault against threatening him with suspension.
NAN reports that the senator stated this yesterday when he appeared before the six-man panel set up by the senate to investigate him.
It would be recalled that the senate president, Mr. Ahmad Lawan had, on July 3, set up the panel headed by Dr. Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi).
Abbo who appeared before his colleagues on Tuesday told them that the matter was already before the court, hence he would not make comments that could amount to prejudice of the court process.
He also refused to allow the clerk of the panel to put him on oath, as is usual practice.
Drama started when he said he had no business appearing and making comments about the matter anywhere.
However, he said his presence was out of honour for his colleagues.
A member of the panel, Senator Oluremi Tinubu expressed displeasure over Abbo’s comment before the panel.
“The senate carefully selected members of this committee to hear your own side of the story which has gone viral.
“What we are doing here as a legislature is a position taken by the senate to hear from you and others involved.
“This matter has affected the senate as an institution and we have been mandated to investigate it.
“You can’t sit there on the other side and dictate the modalities and approach we follow as a committee.
“We are trying to protect the senate and hear from you, but we can also suspend you because of your attitude.”
At that point, Abbo flared up and said he won’t allow the committee to threaten him with suspension, having earlier informed it that the matter is before a court.
“Dear colleagues, I won’t sit here and allow this committee to threaten me with suspension.
“Is it out of place for me to say I’m not addressing you since this matter is before a court of law of competent jurisdiction?
“I came here to honour you as colleagues after receiving an SMS inviting me here.
“Just the same way I have received SMS from the police. I was arrested, detained and charged to court over this matter. Yet, I’m here out of respect for you as colleagues.
“I want you to remember that this matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction and I don’t want to be held in contempt of the Court,” he said.
After some arguments which turned the venue rowdy, the Egwu urged all parties to remain calm.
Another member of the panel, Mr. Mathew Urhoghide urged his colleagues to hear Abbo off camera.
Egwu agreed to the suggestion and excused the media.
“We are not here to go into the area of the matter that is already in court.
“We are here to look at issues that affect us as a parliament in the eyes of the public,” he said.
It would be recalled that Abbo, who represents Adamawa North was caught on video assaulting a nursing mother.
He was arraigned at Zuba Magistrates’ Court in Abuja on Monday, July 8, for criminal assault.
The Federal Capital Police Command had filed two counts of criminal use of force and criminal assault against Abbo.
The senator, who was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Ilellah, pleaded innocent of the offence and was subsequently granted bail in the sum of N5m.
It would also be recalled that the senator had, at press conference after the news of the assault went viral and became a subject of public discourse, admitted to the offence and also apologised to Nigerians.
The PDP senator, during a media briefing in Abuja, wept as he apologized to mothers, Nigerians, his party, the national assembly, his family, the victim and her family as well as all people who were embarrassed by his conduct.
“I’m not here to tell my own side of the story.
“It is with a deep sense of remorse and responsibility that I, Senator Ishaku Abbo profoundly apologise to all Nigerians, the senate, the PDP, my family, friends as well as our mothers – the Nigerian women.
“I personally apologise to Bibra and her family for my action towards her, which has brought immense discomfort in our body polity.”
“I 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,” he said.