The Senate investigative hearing on the allegation of assault on a Nigerian lady, leveled against Senator Elisha Abbo as the embattled lawmaker told the panel not to threaten him with suspension.
The Senate had, last week, after considering a motion from Senator Uba Sani on the alleged assault of a lady by Abbo, set up impromptu committee to investigate the case.
Trouble started when Senator Abbo appeared before the committee and said that he would not speak on the matter on the ground that the case is before the court of law.
After some minutes of intense pressure on him by the members of the panel, the lawmaker insisted that even if he would speak, he should be allowed to talk to them in a closed session.
Abbo said: “I cannot be speaking before this committee, since the allegation under investigation already before the court. So, why should I be facing the another panel.”
Senator Oluremi Tinubu replying to Abbo’s statement, warned the rude senator not to dictate to the committee, adding that he could be suspended by the Senate over his conduct.
Albeit, Abbo said that he could not be threatened with suspension.
Below is the dispute between Abbo and Senator Oluremi Tinubu:
Tinubu: “Distinguished, we want to tell you, you are just joining us. We also have a procedure. What we are doing, we are doing it as a legislature. Everybody deserves a fair hearing. What is going on with you, affects us as a body. That is why the Senate President constituted this committee.
“You can see the level and integrity of members of the committee. You don’t come here and dictate to us, the procedure we are supposed to follow. You are undermining us by trying to do that. You are not even listening to us.
“Even if we are going beyond what you expect, you can’t stop us. Do you want us to protect you, defend you or do you want to be on your own?”
Abbo: “Distinguished ma….
Tinubu: “Put off your mic and let me finish my point. Do you also realise that this committee can also suspend you?
Abbo: “I will not sit down here and watch you threaten me with suspension. I am a Senator like you. I take exemption to that.”
Tinubu: “Off that mic, you are digging a hole for yourself. I am also another woman, you better be careful. We took the decision and you didn’t even wait for us to tell you the method we wanted to adopt.”
Infuriated by Senator Tinubu’s comment, Abbo said: “You cannot threaten me with suspension; it is not out of place for me to say am not addressing press. I came because I received a text message before the committee. I will talk to media but I should address the committee in closed door.”
Committee members later agreed that Abbo should speak before the committee behind closed door.
Before the committee went into closed session, Abbo said that he decided to apologize last week in order to protect the institution of the Senate, adding that the matter happened before he became the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to him, the incident has been overtaken by event.
Earlier, the counsel (Solola & Akpana) to the victim of the assault appeared before the Committee, informing that the victim was in the hospital and that they did know when she would leave the hospital.
The counsel, however, declined to make any statement on the matter.
Addressing journalists at the end of the closed session, the Chairman of the Panel, Senator Samuel Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North), said that the hearing would continue today, and that all parties involved would appear.