OrderPaperToday – This week, the media space was thrown into frenzy as Senator Elisha Abbo (PDP, Adamawa) was caught on camera slapping a woman at a sex toy shop in Abuja.

Abbo assaulted the woman, a nursing mother at the shop after she begged him not to attack the shop owner whom the Senator had accused of insulting him.

According to a PREMIUM TIMES report, the assault occurred on May 11 in the presence of an armed mobile police officer who looked on and made attempts to apprehend the victim.

Abbo’s action has drawn wide criticisms across party lines and the general public forcing him to apologise. Despite his apology, he is still subject to investigations by the Senate and the Police.

However, Abbo is not the first Senator or member of the National Assembly for that matter, involved in a ‘slapping’ or assault scandal. In the past, legislators have issued and been on the receiving end of varying degree of slaps and other forms of assault. In this piece, we take a journey down memory lane.

Iyabo Anisulowo and the Senator to Senator slap

In 2004, the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on States and Local governments, Senator Isa Mohammed set things rolling by slapping his Chairman, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo over alleged misappropriation of N1.2 million Senate Committee funds.

The Senate swiftly suspended Senator Isa Mohammed (PDP, Niger) for two weeks even as he apologised to Senator Anisulowo, her family, all women and all Nigerians over his action. At a press conference, he admitted that he was emotionally fragile, partly blaming the devil for his actions.

Senator Bwacha, a victim of slap

Barely two weeks after the female senator suffered a slap bash, a female member of the House of Representatives, Iquo Inyang (PDP, Akwa-Ibom), went on her own slapping adventure, dishing out a hot slap to her Committee Chairman, Emmanuel Bwacha who is now the Senator representing Taraba South. Inyang revealed that she took the action due to an alleged insult directed at her by Bwacha.

She would later explain that she was emotionally distressed because of her father’s recent death. Bwacha denied insulting Inyang and stated that he had forgiven her. Nevertheless, the House of Representatives suspended her for one-week.

Senator Olujimi receives an “elevator slap”

Former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi in 2018 was also entangled in a slapping scandal. Trouble started when an official of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) allegedly had the guts to use an elevator reserved for Senators within the National Assembly complex.

According to a witness report, Senator Olujimi demanded to know why the PASAN staff was in the elevator reserved for Senators. She subsequently, directed her aide to “slap” the National Assembly staff. The staff however allegedly retaliated by slapping Olujimi. Olujimi would however go on to deny receiving a slap during the incident.

Dino Melaye Vs Remi Tinubu assault drama

Senators Dino Melaye and Oluremi Tinubu have been caught up in assault scandals albeit not specifically involving slaps.

In 2016, Senator Dino Melaye reportedly threatened to beat and impregnate his colleague, Senator Oluremi Tinubu during a heated closed door session of the Senate.

Tinubu in a series of petition to the APC Chairman and Senate President confirmed that Dino threatened to beat and rape her, a claim Dino denied stressing that he only called her “stupid” after she called him a “dog”.  He added that he could not impregnate Tinubu because she had “arrived menopause”.

Dino’s face-off with Tinubu was not the first of its kind. Back in 2010, Dino’s cloth was thorn and left in tatters after he actively participated in a free-for-all fight that played out in the House of Representatives over moves to impeach the then Speaker, Dimeji Bankole. Dino led the onslaught against the Bankole and was a major participant as members for and against the Speaker exchanged blows. Some members were beaten to a stupor and it took the protection of the sergeant-at-arm to protect the mace and the Speaker. Eventually, Dino and a couple others were bundled out of the green chamber for peace to reign.

Nyako bully on a Rep member

In 2017, Senator Abdul-aziz Nyako and a member of the House of Representatives, Adamu Kamale allegedly clashed in Yola over the distribution of relief materials meant for internally displaced people. The incident reportedly took place at the Yola International Airport leading to a panel being set up by the House of Representatives to investigate an “assault” on Hon. Kamale. But nothing came out of that probe.

Pounding from the Prisons’ boss

In April 2016, Mrs. Onyemaechi Mrakpor, member of the House of Representatives from Delta State was allegedly attacked for overtaking the motorcade of the Comptroller-General of Prisons (CGP), Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu within the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

In an interview with BBC, Mrakpo said she was slapped and called a prostitute by an officer in the convoy of the CGP for overtaking and not giving way to the convoy of the CGP who had come to the National Assembly on invitation by the Public Petition Committee following allegations of fraud leveled against him. The CGP allegedly watched as the lawmaker was assaulted by his aides within the premises of the parliament.

Hon. Mrakpor reportedly broke down in tears while narrating the incident to her colleagues in the green chamber. The House of Representatives subsequently resolved to summon the Comptroller-General of Prisons, Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu, and the Minister of Interior, Abdulraman Dambazau, to appear before its Committee on Interior over the assault. The lower chamber also summoned the security agencies within the National Assembly who also reportedly watched as the lawmaker was assaulted without making moves to protect her.

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Damilola Zebulun Adeniran
Damilola is a multiple award-winning Writer, Researcher, and Community/Sustainable Development Practitioner. His interests and experience span across media, academics, human capital development, and strategic planning. Damilola is a Paradigm Initiative Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellow. He is the first Nigerian in history to win the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank Group. Also, Damilola's written work on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize, presented by the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America, in English and in French. Damilola has also attended important meetings within and outside the African continent including the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C, USA and the West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA) Marketplace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He was also a special guest on a panel discussion titled “How creative industry can help to stem fragility,” which was held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, USA. Furthermore, Damilola was selected as a Champion of Advocacy against extreme poverty and preventable diseases by ONE Campaign in May, 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School and Federal University of Technology Akure, Damilola Adeniran represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.

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