Adamawa North lawmaker, Senator Elisha Abbo, has continued to receive bashing from various quarters over a video showing him beating up a shop attendant at a sex toy shop in Abuja
The Senate on Wednesday set up a bipartisan ad hoc committee headed by a former governor of Ebonyi State, Sam Egwu, to probe the alleged assault on a nursing mother by Senator Elisha Abbo.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, constituted the panel following a point of order raised by the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Uba Sani.
The Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya; Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; and Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, supported Sani by condemning the action of the Senator.
Lawan said it would be unfair on either the Senator or the assaulted lady if the Senate should pass a judgment immediately based on the viral video clip.
He, therefore, asked the ad hoc committee to probe the issue critically by inviting both parties and submit its report within two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, has called on his party to immediately discipline Abbo. This comes less than an hour after the Senate set up a committee.
Atiku said in a Facebook post that the act was inexcusable. “I have 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 PDP, to take necessary disciplinary action and the Nigerian Police to ensure the law takes its full course.”
In another development, Nigerians from opposing political parties as well as rights groups and celebrities have called on the police to immediately take action against Abbo.
Global rights body, Amnesty International, called on the police to immediately take action against the 41-year-old lawmaker.
In a Facebook post, AI said, “Senator Elisha Abbo (Adamawa North) who took three ladies shopping for sex toys in Abuja, assaulted a nursing mother, in the presence of policemen. This must be investigated. The lawmaker must face justice. The victims must be protected from his promise of more violence.”
On his part, human rights lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), said the police could arrest the senator immediately given the available video evidence and arraign him accordingly. He tweeted, “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). Secondly, obtain his statement (if he’s willing to make one) and that of the victim and thirdly arraign him in court.”
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said it was unfortunate that Abbo was the one who replaced the respected Senator Binta Garba at the Senate. She called on the Senate not to shield him but ensure that he was dealt with swiftly.
Peter Okoye, a member of the defunct P-Square group, called for the immediate arrest of the senator and called on the National Assembly not to allow him to sit again.
Okoye said “If the Nigerian Senate is a serious place, he should not even be able to enter the Senate on the next sitting.”
Also reacting, popular musician, Adekunle Gold, said, “I am so angry. I want to say a lot of things but I am at a loss for words.”
Music producer, Don Jazzy, expressed shock that a senator could do such a thing.
Meanwhile, activist, Deji Adeyanju, has led a protest to Louis Edet House, the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force where he is expected to submit a petition to the Inspector-General of Police.