A mild drama ensued on Tuesday at the Senate investigative hearing on the alleged assault levelled against Adamawa Senator Elisha Abbo, when the embattled senator boasted that he was not afraid of suspension.
The upper chamber last week resolved to raise an ad-hoc committee to probe allegation of assault against Senator Abbo at an Abuja adult toy’s shop.
The probe degenerated when Abbo appeared before the seven-member committee and declined to talk on the matter, claiming that the case for which he was being investigated was already before a court.
The embattled senator noted that even if he wanted to speak on the mater, he would prefer to talk in camera.
Miffed by the senator’s attitude, the panel members said the embattled senator cannot dictate to them.
They told him of the consequence of his action and asked him to comply, but the senator insisted that he cannot be threatened with suspension.
He said: “I cannot talk because the matter is in court. Why should I be talking before the camera. I cannot talk.
“I cannot be speaking before this committee because that would be subjudice since the matter under investigation is already before the court. So, why should I be facing the camera.
A member of the committee, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, told her colleagues that the senator cannot dictate to the committee.
She reminded Abbo that he could be suspended as a result of what transpired in the video that went viral.
Mrs. Tinubu said: “Distinguished senators, we want to tell you that you are just joining us. We also have 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 evening 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?
Responding to Mrs. Tinubu’s comment, Abbo said: You cannot threaten me with suspension. It is not out of place for me to say am not addressing the press.
“I came because I received a text message from the committee. I will talk to the media. I should address the committee in closed door.”
The committee members, however, agreed that Senator Abbo should speak to the committee behind closed doors.
Before the committee went into a closed session, Abbo said that he decided to apologize last week in order to protect the institution of the Senate.
He added that the matter happened before he became a senator, pointing out that the incident had been overtaken by events.
Counsel to the victim of the assault, Solola &Akpana who appeared before committee informed the panel that the victim was in the hospital and claimed that they did not know when she was going to leave the hospital.
The counsel declined to make any statement on the matter.