A High Court in Abuja today ordered Senator Elisha Abbo to pay N50m as damages to the woman he slapped in a toy shop in March 2019 in Abuja.
Justice S.U. Bature of the court in Apo, made the order today, in the civil suit filed against the Adamawa senator.
In July, the criminal case against the Senator was struck out by a magistrates’ court for lack of diligent prosecution.
But in the civil suit, the court ordered Abbo to pay Osimibibra Warmate, his victim the N50m, according to lawyers involved in the case.
The court also ordered him to publish in a national newspaper an unreserved apology to Warmate.
“Today’s judgment was a victory not just for Ms. Warmate but also for all Nigerians and indeed for the Rule of Law’, said Esosa Omo-Usah,the lead lawyer in an emailed statement to P.M.NEWS
“With today’s judgment, the Judiciary has made a significant statement that no matter your station in life in this society, you will get justice if your rights are infringed upon, and no matter how highly placed you in in the society, justice will be served if you break the law.
“It is hoped that both the Senate and Senator Abbo’s Party will see today’s judgment as a critical commentary on Senator Abbo’s obnoxious conduct and that if they do not take necessary disciplinary actions against him, the stain of that despicable conduct captured in that viral video rubs off on them too”, he added.
One of the lawyers who initially took part in the case, Lugard Tare-Otu, applauded the judgment on Twitter:
I was a leading member of the team, with @nellymacaroni which filed the Court papers in a civil suit between Ms. Warmate v. Senator Elisha Abbo, for the assault of Ms. Warmate at an adult shop in Abuja. Excited to announce, Court slammed damages of N50m against Senator Abbo today
— Lugard Tare-Otu (@Lugard_Tareotu) September 28, 2020
Another lawyer who was also involved, Nelly Macaroni, also wrote:
“Remember that video of a Nigerian Senator slapping/assaulting a young lady at a shop? Well justice was served today with the Court slamming the sum of N50M against the Senator. I am delighted to have represented that young lady in this suit. We say no more to oppression!”
How the case started:
On 8 July, 2019, the law firm of Solola & Akpana, a leading Civil/Commercial Law Firm filed the case against Senator Abbo in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
Leading the team of lawyers for Ms. Osimibibra Warmate, victim of Abbo, was Esosa Omo-Usoh, a Managing Partner in the firm.
Other lawyers who were part of the team were: Nosakhare Omokhua and Ademola Adeboye, and Ibinabo Warmate, Nelson Onuoha and Oluwajoba Odefemi.
Two other members of the Team were Lugard Tare-Otu and Peter Chukwuma Okoroafor.
Arguments were taken in the suit on July 2, 2020 before Hon. Justice S. U. Bature and the suit was adjourned till today, September 28, 2020
In today’s proceedings, Hon. Justice Bature ruled on the Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by Senator Abbo challenging the jurisdiction of the court and competence of the suit.
In its ruling, the Court agreed with us that the preliminary objection filed by Senator Abbo was baseless and unmeritorious.
Thereafter, the Court proceeded to deliver its judgment on the substantive suit.
In its judgment, the Honourable Court found in favour of Ms. Warmate and granted the following reliefs as contained in our originating motion:
*A Declaration that the Respondent’s violent assault on the Applicant on May 11, 2019 at New Banex Plaza, Wuse II, Abuja amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment and constitutes a breach of the Applicant’s fundamental right to the dignity of her person guaranteed under Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
*An Order directing the Respondent to publish an unreserved public apology to the Applicant in a national daily newspaper.
*An Order directing the Respondent to pay to the Applicant the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) as general/exemplary damages for his unconscionable infringement and violation of the Applicant’s fundamental right to the dignity of her person when he violently assaulted the Applicant on May 11, 2019 at New Banex Plaza, Wuse II, Abuja.
Esosa Omo-Usah,the lead lawyer said they have applied for a certified true copy of the judgment/enrolled order.