Police arraign Nigerian senator for assaulting woman

Politician faces 6 months in jail or fine over slapping woman in store, in video that drew outrage

Police arraign Nigerian senator for assaulting woman

LAGOS Nigeria 

A Nigerian senator was arraigned on charges of criminal assault on Monday, days after footage emerged of him slapping a woman in a store.

Opposition Senator Elisha Abbo has been in the news since last week when he was seen in footage assaulting a woman at a sex toy shop in the capital Abuja for interceding in an argument he was having with the shop owner.

"The senator is being arraigned for criminal assault at a magistrate court here in Abuja," Bala Ciroma, police chief for Abuja, told Anadolu Agency by telephone on Monday.

Abbo was grilled for hours last Thursday and was later detained following the outcry that greeted the footage. He has since apologized for the action.

But various women groups have rejected his apologies and insisted that he must face charges.

If convicted, Abbo faces at least six months in prison or a fine.

"If it gets to that stage, the terms to be served or the fine don't really matter. What matters is the fact that he would become a convict and that comes with grievous political consequences," Adams Ishola, a lawyer, told Anadolu Agency.

Abbo, the youngest senator in the newly inaugurated parliament, represents Nigeria's northeast Adamawa on the platform of the main opposition People's Democratic Party.

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