Senator Elisha Abbo who represents Adamawa North in the Senate has found himself the subject of a fresh scandal. This time, a photojournalist identified as Olumuyiwa Owolabi has leveled accusations against him of assault and a breach of contract.
The photojournalist had told the PUNCH that the Adamawa Senator did not stop at assaulting him as he went further to lock him up in Adamawa.
Owolabi said that he met Abbo in 2014 for the first time during the run-up to the June 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State. Ayodele Fayose won the polls.
As the official photographer of Fayose during that period, Owolabi said that he the Senator in Ekiti State where Abb0 told him he would like to employ his services.
According to Owolabi, “The viral video of Senator Elisha Abbo assaulting a young lady isn’t a new to me as I was one of his victims of assault years back.
“I met him during the campaign of former Governor Ayodele Fayose while I was the official photojournalist assigned to Fayose during the electioneering campaign and later head of photojournalists to his deputy after the election.”
Owolabi had said that Abbo who was in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a contestant for the Senate at the time, had gotten into a contract with him to provide coverage for his political activities at the cost of N2.8m.
On the 13th of August in 2014, he travelled by air to Yola in Adamawa State from Abuja with Abbo, lodging at Lelewa hotel for weeks as they campaigned for the primaries of the Adamawa North Senatorial seat. Abbo eventually lost out to Senator Binta Garba.
Owolabi then said he continued his travels with the Senator from Vintim Muchala in Adamawa to Mubi and then came back to Yola after Abbo lost the primaries.
Owolabi said, “On approaching Senator Abbo to enforce the contract agreement we had, he refused to pay. He ignored several pleas for him to just give me part of my money.
“On the fateful day we wanted to travel together to Mubi for the last campaign, Boko Haram invaded the place prior to the day we ought to have travelled. Due to the attack by Boko Haram, I began to plead with him that I needed to leave the state.
“After several text messages and calls put through to him were ignored, I had no choice but to sit in front of his room where he was lodged at Dansoho Hotel, Yola. This was around 5pm.”
Owolabi then went on to allege that immediately the Senator saw him, he became livid and started to hit him, slapping him repeatedly.
Abbo then went on to contact a policeman and told him that Owolabi was a Boko Haram suspect who should be placed under immediate arrest.
The photojournalist further stated, “As soon as he came out, I began to plead with him that I had to go. The next thing he said was that I was embarrassing him. He started beating and slapping me. He told his orderly to put me inside the pickup truck. He told them to point their guns at me and that he would kill me and tell people I was a member of Boko Haram.
“When I heard that statement, I was shocked because I didn’t know anybody there and I couldn’t speak their language fluently. No one could come to my rescue when he brutalised me, causing me to sprain my ankle.
“I began begging him to just leave me and let me go that I would leave the money for him because of his action.”
The photojournalist further alleged that the police escort of the Senator took him to the Kaliwa Police Division around 2.am acting on instructions that he should be shot to death if he failed to comport himself.
He said the Senator had gone on to break his phone while he was locked up making it difficult for him to contact anyone.
The photojournalist added, “He had damaged my phone I couldn’t contact anybody; he tore my clothes and I was virtually naked.
“That very night, on getting to Kaliwa police station, I begged the investigating police officer to please let me use his phone to talk to one of my relatives. That was how I called one of my brothers that pleaded with the IPO to assist me out of the situation.
“The DPO came the following morning and begged him (Abbo) to give me transport fare to go back to meet my family. Till date, he hasn’t paid me the money.”
Mr Owolabi, who made a plea to Nigerians asking them to help him, as well shared photos of private chats he purportedly had with the senator.
Attempts to speak with the senator proved abortive as calls put through to his telephone indicated that it was switched off while a text message was not responded to as of 7 am on Thursday.
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