*You'll be suspended, Tinubu threatens embattled senator
Senator Elisha Abbo confronted the panel set up by the Nigerian Senate to probe his alleged assault of a woman at a sex toy shop, disagreeing with the methods adopted by the panel.
The panel permitted journalists to cover and report the session but Abbo rejected the idea and refused to talk about the allegation.
He also refused to take an oath before speaking on the case, a usual practice of the National Assembly.
Abbo said, “I came here out of respect for my colleagues and I’m ready to take the oath and discuss but talking in front of the camera when the matter is in court is what I won’t do.
The panel led by Senator Sam Egwu expressed shock at the conduct of Abbo with Senator Oluremi Tinubu, a member of the panel threatening Abbo he could be suspended if he did not comply with the methods of the panel.
Tinubu said, “The Senate of the Senate carefully selected members of this committee to hear your own side of the story which has gone viral. What we are doing here as a legislature is a position taken by the Senate to hear from you and others involved.
“This matter has affected the Senate as an institution and we have been mandated to investigate it. You can’t sit there on the other side and dictate the modalities and approach we follow as a committee. We are trying to protect the Senate and hear from you, but we can also suspend you because of your attitude, do you realize that?”
Abbo, however, replied: “I will not sit and you threaten me with suspension. I am a senator like you and I will not sit and allow you to threaten me with suspension. I take exception to that.
Egwu stepped in to calm the situation warning Abbo to act properly and respect the panel.
He said, “This behaviour is not expected of you. If you care to object, you have to keep quiet (sic), you have to address the chair.
Similarly, condemning the unruly behaviour of Abbo, Tinubu said the panel made the decision to invite journalists but Abbo refused to listen to the panel before disagreeing with the method.
When asked by the panel why he was in the meeting, Abbo responded: “I came because I received a text message that I was invited by this honourable and distinguished men and women to investigate a video that is already in the public domain.
“The protest that have been going on there has been loud, global and international and I felt the matter that is going on there is 'investigate and prosecution'.
“Just here to honour you as colleagues after receiving an SMS inviting me here. Just the same way I had received a text message from the police that I should come. I had to go there at the exact time the police gave me because I know how important that issue is not just for the Senate as a body but also for the police as an institution.
“I was arrested, detained, investigated by the police and was referred to a competent court. I still feel out of respect for my colleague that I should come but coming here, I have been receiving thousands of media to go and address journalists to tell them my side of the story, I refused but coming here to be ambushed with media people covering me, I will not talk to the media.
“I will now ask as a privilege of a senator, I address this committee at a closed session. I will not speak about my own side of the story to the media and take it out there,” Abbo insisted.
After about 10 minutes before the press was asked to leave the room for a close-door probe.