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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

UPDATED: Senate wades into alleged assault of lady by Senator

UPDATED: Senate wades into alleged assault of lady by Senator

The Senate on Wednesday constituted a seven-man ad-hoc committee to investigate alleged assault of a woman at a toy shop in Abuja by Senator Elisha Abbo.

The Adamawa North Senator, said to be the youngest in the chamber, was observed in a 10-minutes video footage recklessly slapping a lady shop keeper.

 The offence of the lady appeared to be that she cautioned the Senator not to attack the shop owner who Abbo claimed insulted him.

Senator Abbo claimed that the shop owner tagged him a drunk.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who set up the committee, named Ebonyi North Senator, Samuel Egwu, as chairman.

READ ALSO :  PDP Senator who assaulted lady in Abuja is HIV/AIDS carrier

Other members of the committee included Senators Oluremi Tinubu, Stella Oduah, Dauda Jika, Danladi Sankara and Mohammed Sani.

The constitution of the probe committee followed a Point of Order by Senator Uba Sani.

Kaduna Central Sani told his colleagues that the image of the Senate had been dented by a video that went viral about a Senator slapping a lady repeatedly.

The Senate, he cautioned, must take decisive measures to redeem his battered image.

Sani claimed to have received over 110 calls from within the country and from friends across the shores of Nigeria.

He insisted that the Senate should take urgent steps to address the assault allegation.

Sani said, “As soon as the story was published online, I started receiving calls from Nigeria and abroad. A decisive action should be taken to show to the world that we respect the right of other Nigerians no matter how lowly placed they may be.

“The Senate needs to do something. Our image is at stake. If we do this, we will be able to redeem the image of the Senate. Mr. President, we must act right away without delay.”

The Senate President however interjected and cautioned against drawing conclusions before investigation of the allegation.

“Let us not conclude yet. Whatever we saw still remains an allegation. It has not been proven. We need to give everyone involved, including our colleague, a fair hearing. We should be guided. Both sides must have fair hearing.”

Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti South) in his contribution also cautioned against hasty conclusions.

He noted that no matter the allegation, Senator Abbo and the other side involved should be given the opportunity to state their case.

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Bamidele said: “It was an extremely tragic news. But we can not be sensational about this. Nigerians must see us as people who are ready to lead by example. We need to give our colleague the benefits of the doubt.

“What happened is a violation of Sections 33, 34 and 35. We need to set up an ad-hoc committee to give everyone a sense of fair hearing. But we must always work to protect the rights of Nigerians.”

Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, also condemned the alleged assault.

Abaribe however cautioned against apportioning blame before investigation.

He noted that the Senate rule book stated the mode of behavior of Senators that should be exhibited in the Senate and outside the Senate.

Abaribe said: “In our rule book, Section 56 spells out how we should behave. We are 109 privileged Nigerians. It comes with responsibilities too. You have already said we cannot apportion guilt on who is right or wrong.

“I want us to suspend judgment until we can investigate this matter further. That will be in the interest of justice to us and to Nigerians who look up to us.”

Senate leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi,on his own  said that full details of what happened should be known to enable the Senate to take definite decision.

He said, “The issues have become very clear. We can not go to judgement without knowing the full details. There must be fair hearing. We can not take action without investigation. An ad-hoc committee should be set up.”

Lawan in his conclusion said: “This morning (yesterday), I received a lot of calls locally and internationally. We are going to be very responsible, we can not condone any act of violence. If there is any act of violence against us, we can not keep mute.

“We are privileged and we can’t let the people down. We will set up an ad-hoc committee. It will be an opportunity for the senator to state his side. The lady allegedly assaulted will also have the chance of stating her side.”

READ ALSO :  IG of Police orders arrest of Senator Elisha Abbo

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