Nigerian senator apologizes for slapping female shop assistant
Nigerian Sen. Elisha Abbo has apologized after video of him slapping a female shop assistant in the capital city of Abuja emerged on the internet.
In a video shared on his party’s Twitter account on Wednesday, Abbo said he had learned from the incident and pleaded for forgiveness from the Senate, his family and citizens who might have been offended by his actions.
“It is therefore with deep sense of remorse and responsibility that, I, Sen. Elisha Abbo, profoundly apologize to all Nigerians, the Senate, the People’s Democratic Party, my friends as well as our mothers, the Nigerian women,” he said in the video.
“I personally apologize to (the victim) and her family for my actions. No matter what you did to me, you don’t deserve such treatment, I am sorry,” Abbo added.
CNN made several attempts to speak to Abbo but did not receive a response. CNN also reached out to the woman, who authorities have not publicly named.
In a phone interview with a local TV station, the 41-year-old senator had previously said that portions of the video were cut out or compressed and promised to issue a statement. Later, in a video, he read out an apology: “I am not here to narrate my side of the story,” Abbo said. “I am here to apologize to Nigerians for insulting their sensibilities.”
Angry Nigerians and rights groups, including Amnesty International Nigeria, had called for the senator’s arrest and prosecution after the footage was posted by an online publication on Tuesday.
The incident, according to the report, took place in May before Abbo was sworn in as a senator.
Police on Wednesday said in a statement they would conduct a forensic analysis of the video and ensure justice “irrespective of whose ox is gored,” adding that they were in touch with the woman in the video.
The Senate said it had set up a committee to investigate the incident. Abbo’s party, the People’s Democratic Party said in a statement it was “shocked that the harmless victim of the unprovoked assault is said to be a nursing mother, who ought to be protected.”
The statement also said the party had summoned the lawmaker and will conduct its own investigation.