The police are preparing the ground to file criminal charges against Senator Elisha Abbo for assaulting a woman at an adult toy shop in Abuja.
The police say the right thing would be done once the force conclude investigations on the matter.
Following the viral footage where the senator was seen assaulting a lady who is said to be a nursing mother, the Senate on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, condemned Abbo for beating a woman.
Subsequently, the Senate set up a bi-partisan ad hoc committee headed by Sam Egwu, former governor of Ebonyi state to probe Senator Abbo’s action.
You’ll recall that the viral footage in which the senator representing Adamawa North was seen assaulting his victim sparked public and social media outrage recently and many Nigerians called on the police to investigate and prosecute the senator.
According to Punch, police detectives had been able to establish a prima facie case against the lawmaker.
Apart from the evidence deduced from the video, the admission by the senator in his statement of apology on Wednesday evening was said to have added to the weight of evidence against him.
On Thursday, July 4, 2019, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command interrogated Abbo and thereafter detained him for 24 hours.
He was released on Friday, July 5, 2019, after meeting his bail conditions and ordered to return for further questioning this week.
Punch reports that the force had planned to arraign Abbo on Friday, but decided to wait till next week due to the inability of the investigators to obtain the original footage of the assault from the CCTV camera that captured the incident.
A police source disclosed to the Newspaper that the investigators could not obtain the footage because the shop owner was out of town.
The police source added that Abbo would be arraigned to show that the force did not condone violence in any form irrespective of the status of the perpetrator.
He said, “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 police source disclosed to Punch that the police decided to delay the arraignment to ensure diligent investigation and avoid any costly mistake during the prosecution of the lawmaker.
The source said, “We don’t want to sacrifice diligent investigation on the altar of speed. Rather, we want to strike a balance between the need to charge him to court timeously and the need to do the right thing.
“When you are investigating a case involving a high calibre person, you have to be sure you have a watertight case, because the accused would hire the best lawyers who could exploit every technicality and loophole to get their client off the hook.”
It was also gathered that the police have interrogated the victim but have not been able to question the shop owner.
Asked if the lawmaker would be arraigned this week, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba said investigation into the matter has not been concluded, adding that the right thing would be done.