It is against the law to assault a woman or a man or to inflict physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person in Nigeria, disappointedly, a senior lawmaker, Senator Elisha Abbo who was caught in the act could be sentenced to a 3-year jail term if found guilty.
According to the Nigeria Criminal Code Act, Section 355 says, “Any person who unlawfully assaults another and thereby does him harm is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.”
It’s a grievous crime to assault a fellow Nigerian. It’s even more “criminal” when a lawmaker who was voted to uphold the ideals of Nigeria’s legal system and its constitution goes public to beat up another man’s wife at a public place that has been described as a place that isn’t befitting a senior lawmaker.
Unfortunately, that is the situation an Adamawa North Senatorial District representative at the National Assembly Senator Abbo has found himself. The youngest senator was caught on camera slapping a shop attendant four times.
Her offence? The lady could be heard in the video saying, “Take it easy” when the PDP Senator was going haywire, but instead transferred the anger on the lady, molested and ordered one of his Police orderly to arrest the helpless victim.
He had apologised, and he was emotional in the short video clip where he was crying while begging Nigerian women, his constituency, his party and Nigerians as a whole to forgive him.
His apology isn’t enough. He ridiculed womanhood. He is a disgrace to the National Assembly and his constituency and should be prosecuted despite his emotional apology. His prosecution should not be seen as political, but because he had committed a grievous crime that is punishable under the law.
His action “is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal and/or civil liability.”
Below are the top five reason Senator Elisha Abbo should be prosecuted by the appropriate authority despite his public apology.
One, Abbo violated Nigeria Criminal Code Act. By the provision of Chapter 29, Sections 351 and 355 are very explicit about this.
According to section 351, “Any person who unlawfully assaults another is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable, if no greater punishment is provided, to imprisonment for one year.”
I’d have suggested that the Senator be sent to at least three years in jail, but because he has shown remorse he should be sent to one-year imprisonment. He deserved that because he is a lawmaker who has broken the law he’s meant to uphold.
Two, Abbo should be prosecuted because his action is against the United Nations human rights treaties. According to Stop Violate Against Women, the early human rights law enacted by the United Nations did not specially mention violence against women, although they are still relevant.
In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. “Although this document was not originally binding on member states, it has received such wide acceptance as an outline of foundational human rights principles that it has been recognized as a binding expression of customary law and an authoritative interpretation of the UN Charter itself.”
Three, the apology of the slapping Senator isn’t enough. If he goes scot-free because of his public apology, then we’re likely to see another occurrence of such against women. He was meant to be a lawmaker, not a lawbreaker. He should be a scapegoat to tell other violent men out there that women are not punching bags. They deserve honour and respect.
Also, considering what the Senator said before he tendered his apology, it seemingly showed that he was coarse to make the apology. He first said the video was old apparently trying to defend his action before he came up with a drama-like emotional video to convince Nigerians that he was remorse.
That isn’t enough. Its persecution is likely to have an effect on Nigeria’s judicial system before the international community that respect Nigeria as the giant of Africa. Any mistake to set him free will show the rest of the World that Nigeria isn’t serious about justice.
There is law in the country, the problem is implementation and it’s time to show helpless Nigerian masses that their rights are well protected and are secured on Nigerian soil.
Finally, we’ve heard how unknown number of Nigerian women-young and adult-have been assaulted in the past, though most of such cases are underreported.
In a 2018 BMC Women Health report, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) from the Nigerian national population commission estimated women’s lifetime exposure to IPV from their husband or partner at 19% for emotional IPV, 14% for physical IPV, and 5% for sexual IPV.
“Furthermore, studies conducted in different regions in Nigeria have reported a prevalence of IPV ranging from 42% in the North, 29% in the South West, 78.8% South East, to 41% in the South South.”
That shows how women are prone to attacks from either their husband or opposite sex. It’s time to put an end to the irresponsible act. Senator Abbo should face the full wrath of the law.