SENATOR Elisha Abbo is likely to be charged with assault this week after the Federal Capital Territory Police Command concluded plans file criminal charges against for slapping a sex shop assistant in Abuja in May.
After closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident went viral last week, Senator Abbo, who represents Adamawa North Senatorial District, has been forced to publicly apologise. He has since reported to the police station where he has been questioned and it now appears that barring any last minute changes, he will be charged to court this week.
Already the senate has set up a bi-partisan adhoc committee headed by a former governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu, to probe the actions of Senator Abbo, meaning that further disciplinary action might be taken against him. It is believed that police detectives have already been able to establish a prima facie case against the Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker.
Apart from the evidence deduced from the video, which showed Senator Abbo repeatedly slapping his victim for intervening in an argument between him and the shop owner, his admission in a statement he issued last week was also said to have added to the weight of evidence against him. On Thursday, the FCT Police Command interrogated the senator, detaining him for 24 hours before releasing him on bail on Friday.
Investigators are now trying to obtain the original footage of the assault from the CCTV camera which captured the incident to ascertain that it had not been manipulated. One senior police officer stated that they would arraign Senator Abbo to show to the world that it did not condone gender violence in any form, regardless of the social status of the perpetrator.
He added: “Our preliminary investigation has indicted the senator and the plan was to arraign him on Friday for assault but the detectives were not able to obtain the original video from the CCTV which we needed to vet to ensure that it had not been manipulated. So, the arraignment would hold this week.”
Another source explained that the police did not want to rush the arraignment to avoid mistakes or legal loopholes that could be exploited by Senator Abbo’s lawyer. He stated that the force decided to delay the arraignment while ensuring a diligent investigation to avoid costly mistakes during the prosecution of the lawmaker.