On Tuesday Senator Ishiaku Abbo of Adamawa asked the members of the senate investigative panel hearing his alleged case of an assault on a nursing mother in Abuja not to threaten him with suspension.
He (Senator Abbo) spoke when he was summoned before the six-man panel set-up by the senate to investigate him on the alleged assault.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, set up the panel which is headed by Sen. Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi) on July 3.
Abbo, who appeared at precisely 3.15 p.m. before his colleagues, informed them that the matter was already before the tribunal, so he would not make any remarks that might amount to prejudice to the court process.
He also refused to allow the clerk of the panel to put him on oath, as usual.
Drama began when he mentioned that he had no business appearing and commenting anywhere on the matter, stating that his presence was out of honour for his colleagues.
A panel member, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos), voiced disappointment with the remarks made by Abbo.
She said, “The Senate carefully chose committee members to hear your own side of the incident that went viral.
“What we do here is the Senate’s position to hear from you and others involved.
“The Senate as an institution was affected by this matter and we were mandated to investigate it. You can not sit on the other side and dictate the modalities and strategy that we as committee follow..”
She added, “We try to safeguard the Senate and hear from you, but because of your approach we can also suspend you.”
Abbo flared up and said that he would not allow the committee to threaten him with suspension, having notified him previously that the matter was before a court.
“I’m not going to sit here and let this committee threaten me with suspension. Is it out of position for me to say that I am not talking to you as this matter is before a competent court of law?
“After receiving an SMS, I came here to honour you as comrade. I want to remind you that this matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction and I don’t want to go to contempt of the court,” he said.
After heated words and arguments, the chairman urged all parties to remain calm.
Senator Mathew Urhoghide (APC-Edo), another member of the panel, advised his colleagues to hear Abbo off camera.
The panel chairman said that although the matter was already in the public domain, he excused the media from the scene.
Earlier, counsel for the victim of the alleged assault sent a team of lawyers led by Mr Chukwuma Okoroafor to submit a letter before the panel.
Okoroafor said the victim was in a hospital in Abuja, so she was unable to appear in person.
However, the committee insisted that within the next one week he should present the victim to enable him to submit his report to the Senate.