Senate names Elisha Abbo deputy chairman of Navy committee

Senator Abbo is under probe for assaulting a woman, but that didn't stop his appointment.

Senator Elisha Abbo [BBC]

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North - APC), named the chairpersons and their deputies for 69 Senate Standing Committees before the lawmakers embarked on annual recess on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.

Abbo's appointment comes despite being under probe for repeatedly slapping a woman during an altercation that was captured on camera.

The emergence of the video that captured Abbo assaulting the woman inside a sex toy shop in Abuja led to widespread outrage earlier this month.

The incident happened in May 2019, just a month before Abbo was sworn in as a senator of the 9th Senate.

Many Nigerians called for the lawmaker to be suspended by the Senate, and prosecuted in court.

Despite initial defiance, the lawmaker issued a very public, teary-eyed apology to his victim and asked her, and Nigerians, for forgiveness days after the video's emergence.

However, he pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal use of force and criminal assault when he was arraigned before a Chief Magistrates' Court in Abuja.

The Senate also set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the incident and report back in two weeks, but the probe has stalled.

Abbo made a reference to the incident when he was honoured with an "ICON at Democracy" award by the Intercommunity Awareness for Change and Development Initiative (IACDI) last week.

"I was number one trending on the social media, Twitter and the rest of it but that is leadership. That is politics for you," he said.

Abbo also stuck to his initial defence when the footage first surfaced, suggesting that it was a blackmail plot to tarnish his reputation.

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