Appeal court upholds ₦50 million damages against Senator Abbo for assault
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has upheld the ₦50 million damages awarded against Senator Elisha Abbo for assaulting Ms. Osimibibra Warmate in a sex toy shop in Abuja.
In a video published by Premium Times in 2019, Senator Abbo, who represents Adamawa North District, was seen assaulting a lady attendant at the sex toy shop.
Abbo slapped the lady more than three times and ordered his security aide to walk the assaulted lady out of the shop.
He later issued a public apology for his actions and surrendered to the police. He spent a night in custody before being granted bail “after meeting a set of administrative conditions for his bound.”
On Monday, September 28, 2020, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Maitama, found the senator guilty and ordered him to pay ₦50 million to the plaintiff as compensation.
Senator Abbo, dissatisfied with the ruling, took his case to the appellate court to challenge the judgement.
However, a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Jamilu Tukur at the appellate court dismissed Senator Abbo’s appeal.
The panel stated that it found no grounds to overturn the verdict delivered by the high court on September 29, 2020, which was a result of a fundamental right enforcement suit filed by Ms. Warmate.
The appellate court supported the stance of Justice Samira Bature, the trial judge, in upholding Ms. Warmate’s claims and awarding damages against Senator Abbo.
The court rejected Abbo’s argument that the legal proceedings that led to the award of damages were improperly initiated and therefore dismissed Senator Abbo’s assertion that he was denied a fair hearing.
The appellate court also disagreed with Abbo’s position that Ms. Warmate’s allegations of slapping, hair-pulling, and dragging her out of the sex toy shop constituted simple assault rather than a violation of rights.
In addition to confirming the ₦50 million in damages, the appellate court also granted an extra ₦500,000 in favour of Ms. Warmate. The court addressed and resolved all five issues raised against Senator Abbo.
In the primary judgement delivered by Danlami Senchi, the appellate court found that Senator Abbo’s appeal, labelled CA/ABJ/945/2020, lacked any substantive merit.
Justice Senchi stated that the trial court’s decision to award N50 million in favour of Ms. Warmate and against Senator Abbo was appropriate.
The judge noted that the evidence presented by Ms. Warmate, which included a medical report and video recordings of the incident, supported the trial court’s decision.
“The conduct of the Appellant is sufficiently outrageous to merit the punishment as the facts of the case disclosed flagrant disobedience of the law, especially that the Appellant is an elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the court held.
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