By Julius Toba-Jegede
Abuja – The Senate Ad hoc Committee investigating the allegation of assault brought against Sen. Ishiaku Abbo, has requested for more time to complete its assignment.
Chairman of the panel, Sen. Sam Egwu (Ebonyi- PDP), made the request at Wednesday’s plenary, relying on Order 43 of the Senate.
He particularly said additional time would enable his committee gather more information to diligently do the investigation and report back to the Senate.
He, however, decried the refusal of some of those who appeared before the panel to furnish it with needed information, on the fear of prejudice of the Court.
He listed the lawyers to the victim, the senator himself and the victim herself as those who had given excuse that the matter was currently before the court.
He also revealed that Mr Bala Ciroma, Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who appeared before the panel gave a similar excuse.
“We set out to the investigation as mandated by the Senate and we have invited all those involved.
“In the course of the investigation, most of those invited appeared but said the matter is before the court, fearing the contempt of the Court.
“We invited our colleague, Sen. Ishiaku Abbo and he appeared before the panel but he told us that he was arrested and detained for 24 hours by the police.
“We also invited the lawyers to the victim and the commissioner of police in the FCT, they told us about their caution on the contempt of the Court.
“As a committee, we hereby request for additional time of one week to further work and report back to this senate,” he said.
Before granting the panel’s request, president of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, said the assignment was different from what the court was currently trying the senator for.
“We are not investing criminal activities; we are investigating issue of conduct.
“The senator who raised the point of order which led to the constitution of this committee did so under privilege.
“He did this as a senator and on our behalf as an institution, so you can go ahead and have additional time,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Senate on July 3, set up a 6-man panel to investigate Sen. Abbo over alleged assault on a woman at a location in Abuja.
NAN also reports that the panel which was given two weeks was due to submit its report to the Senate on Wednesday.