Assault: Court admits three documents against Senator Elisha Abbo

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    The Magistrate Court in Zuba, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday admitted three documents as exhibits tendered against Elisha Abbo, the Nigerian senator caught on camera assaulting a woman in Abuja.

    The senator, who represents Adamawa North senatorial district, was arraigned at the Magistrate Court in Zuba, Abuja, after a video showed him physically assaulting a lady went viral.

    Calls for Mr Abbo to be arrested and prosecuted intensified following this newspaper’s publication of the video.

    Mr Abbo’s trial began on July 8 at the court where he was granted bail with a bond of N5 million.

    At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the prosecution lawyer, James Idachaba, called his second witness, Mary Daniel, an assistant superintendent with the Nigerian Police.

    Ms Daniel said she is the ASP attached to the CID FCT command, anti-vice section of the IPO of the case.

    Ms Daniel said, “On 14 May 2019, the case of criminal force and assault contrary to section 262,273 and 264 of the penal code law was reported to the divisional headquarters Maitama by the complainant, Anyata Warmate, and subsequently to the Commissioner of Police against the defendant.”

    She said upon receipt upon of the petition, it was assigned to her to investigate.

    The witness said she went to the scene of the crime, Pleasure Chest Shop, F.A 45 Banex Plaza, where she met the shop locked.

    “On July 3, an invitation letter was sent to senator Elisha Abbo through the National Assembly Clerk and the invitation letter was also sent to the complainant and she availed herself on July 4. Her explanatory statement was obtained voluntarily, the senator also availed himself the same day where a statement was obtained under word of caution,” adding that he was granted bail that same day.

    Ms Daniel said the complainant brought a disc of the footage with a certificate. She added that a forensic analysis could not be obtained because the camera store footage was with the salesgirl, Oluwakemi.

    She further said all effort made to reach Kemi did not yield any results.

    The witness told the court that she visited the shop more than eight times.

    The witness said on July 10, they went to Banex to obtain a statement from Onyekachi.

    The witness said she went to the eye clinic where the complainant told them she went to treat herself and the doctor confirmed to them that she was treated in that hospital.

    Prior to this, the prosecution lawyer urged the court to admit the three documents as exhibits.

    But the senator’s lawyer, Isaac Adeniyi, who did not object to the statement by Ms Walmate and the senator, urged the court not to admit the medical report in pursuant to section 257 of the Administrative of Criminal Justice Act(ACJA) 2015.

    Mr Adeniyi also objected to the two discs containing the shop footage.

    The prosecution on his party asked the court to discountenance the objections raised by Mr Adeniyi and admit the documents.

    After this, the Chief Magistrate, Abdullahi Ilelah, explained that justice and logic are two different things in court. While justice follows the court, logic follows one’s opinion, he said and admitted the documents as exhibit A1, A2 and A3 respectively.

    Cross-Examination

    During cross-examination, the senator’s lawyer asked if she was the maker of the documents and the witness replied in negative.

    Ms Daniel was asked if all the evidence she gave was based on what she was told and she responded saying, “Yes.”

    Mr Adeniyi finally asked the witness that between herself and the nominal complainant, who had more facts in the case and Ms Daniel said it was the nominal complainant.

    With no further questions from the defendant’s counsel, Ms Daniel was discharged from the witness box.

    The court adjourned the matter to January 9 for the continuation of trial.

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