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Court Slaps Nigerian senator N50 million for assaulting a woman

Court fines Nigerian senator N50 million for assaulting a woman

FCT High Court fines Senator Elisha Abbo N50 million.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Maitama, has ordered Adamawa senator, Elisha Abbo, to pay N50 million as compensation to Osimibibra Warmate, a lady he assaulted in 2019.

Nelson Onuoha, a member of the team of lawyers that filed a civil suit against the lawmaker, disclosed this to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.

Abel Ozioko, a counsel to the senator, also confirmed the ruling.

PREMIUM TIMES had in 2019 exposed the young senator caught on camera assaulting a woman in Abuja. The incident occurred barely three months after Mr Abbo was elected senator and a month before he was sworn in on June 11, 2019.

The video showed the senator physically assaulting the woman, whom he accused of insulting him by calling him “a drunk”. A policeman, who stood by, did nothing to protect the victim.

Mr Abbo later apologised publicly for his actions and turned himself in to the police, who held him for a night, before granting him bail “after meeting a set of administrative conditions for his bound”.

He was thereafter, arraigned before the Chief Magistrate court, Zuba, Abuja, with two counts of criminal charges preferred against him.

The magistrate court, however, dismissed the assault case filed by the Nigerian police against Mr Abbo for lack of diligent prosecution by the police – this was despite the video evidence showing him assaulting Ms Warmate and a televised press conference in which the lawmaker apologised to the victim.

Civil suit and ruling

Meanwhile, the plaintiff filed a civil suit in July 2019 with representation from Solola and Akpana Partners.

“The suit filed by the police was a criminal suit and we were determined to go ahead with the civil suit,” Mr Onuoha told PREMIUM TIMES.

Delivering the judgement on Monday, Justice Samira Bature found the senator guilty and ordered him to pay N50 million to the plaintiff as compensation.

Mr Ozioko, however, said “they will appeal the judgement.”

The Senate had on July 3, set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the incident. The committee had in October, submitted its report to the upper chamber. The report, which contains findings and recommendations, is yet to be discussed by the Senate.

The former Senate spokesperson, Godiya Akwashiki, had said the report is yet to be considered because the case was still in court.

However, with the dismissal of the suit, the Senate is expected to consider the report of the panel upon resumption in September.

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