Human rights attorney, Mr. Femi Falana(SAN), is searing into the
interrogation of the sex shop assaulter, Senator Elisha Abbo by the Nigerian Senate Adhoc-Committee on Tuesday.
Mr. Falana maintained that even though the Red Chamber is constitutionally empowered to discipline its members, Abbo could not be questioned because the assault case is subjudice, that is, already in court.
According to him, the Adamawa North senator had already been arraigned before a magistrate court, pleaded not guilty and granted bail.
The senior advocate noted that the Senate rules clearly state that when a matter is before a court of law, the Senate cannot discuss such a matter.
The activist said, “We all watched the video showing the senator allegedly assaulting a lady but we all demanded justice and the police have already arraigned him. The matter is now before a court and Senator Abbo is a defendant.
“It is, therefore, wrong for the Senate to sit and investigate a matter publicly while the matter is ongoing in court. That is subjudice. The Senate rules are clear that when a matter is in court, the Senate does not dabble into it.”
Abbo was caught on video assaulting a nursing woman at an Abuja-based intimacy gadget shop.
The video sparked outrage across the country with different rights groups demanding his prosecution.
The Senate President subsequently set up an ad hoc committee headed by Senator Sam Egwu of Ebonyi State while Lagos Central lawmaker, Senator Tinubu; Senator Stella Oduah of Anambra-North, Mathew Urhoghide, Dauda Aliu Jika, Sani Musa, and Danladi Sankara are members.
The committee was asked to submit its report within two weeks.
Before the committee could sit on Tuesday, however, the police had already arraigned Abbo the previous day at the Zuba Magistrate Court, Abuja.
He pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal use of force and criminal assault in court today.