BY MAYOWA SAMUEL
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has affirmed the N50 million damages that was awarded against Senator Elisha Abbo for assaulting a lady, Ms. Osimibibra Warmate, in a sex toy shop in Abuja.
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory had ordered the lawmaker who represented Adamawa North, to pay damages over the incident that occurred in 2019.
Dissatisfied with the verdict, Abbo approached the appellate court to set aside the judgement.
However, the appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Jamilu Tukur, dismissed the appeal.
The panel said it found no reason to dislodge the verdict the high court delivered on September 29, 2020, following a fundamental right enforcement suit that was lodged by Ms. Warmate.
The appellate court held that the trial Justice, Samira Bature was right in upholding Ms. Warmate’s case and awarding damages against the lawmaker.
It dismissed the appellant’s argument that the suit that led to the damages that was awarded against him, was not properly commenced.
While also dismissing Abbo’s contention that he was denied fair hearing, the appellate court faulted his argument that Ms. Warmate’s claim that he slapped her, pulled her hair and dragged her out of the sex toy shop, was only a case of simple assault and not rights violation.
The court, aside from upholding the N50 million damages, equally awarded another N500,000 in favour of Ms. Warmate, even as it resolved all five issues that were raised in the appeal, against the appellant.
In its lead judgement, Danlami Senchi, the appellate court held that Abbo’s appeal marked: CA/ABJ/945/2020, was bereft of any merit.
“The decision of the trial court in the award of N50m against the Appellant and in favour of the Respondent was proper,” Justice Senchi held, adding that going by the quality of evidence that was presented by Ms. Warmate, including a medical report and video recordings of the incident, the decision of the trial court could not be tampered with.
“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.