Appeal Court Upholds ₦50M Damages Against Abbo For Slapping Intima Gadget Seller

Senator Elisha Abbo, the representative of Adamawa North Senatorial District, has been instructed by the Court of Appeal in Abuja to pay the N50 million in damages awarded by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory. This award was granted due to an incident in 2019 in which Senator Abbo assaulted a woman named Ms. Osimibibra Warmate in an intimate gadget shop in Abuja.

The three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Jamilu Tukur, rendered a judgment that dismissed Senator Abbo’s appeal. This appeal had been filed against the ruling issued on September 29, 2020, by Justice Samira Bature concerning a fundamental rights enforcement suit brought by Ms. Warmate.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment made by the High Court of the FCT, agreeing that Justice Bature had made the correct decision in supporting Ms. Warmate’s case and awarding N50 million in damages against Senator Abbo.

Senator Abbo’s arguments that the suit was improperly initiated in the trial court and that he was denied a fair hearing were rejected by the Court of Appeal. The court also dismissed his claim that Ms. Warmate’s allegations of assault, including slapping her, pulling her hair, and dragging her out of the shop, did not violate rights but were merely cases of simple assault.

The court characterized Senator Abbo’s behavior as sufficiently outrageous and ruled against him on all five issues raised in the case. Additionally, the court ordered him to pay N500,000 in costs to Ms. Warmate.

Justices Tukur, James Abundaga, and Danlami Senchi, all panel members, were unanimous in their decision that Senator Abbo’s appeal lacked merit and subsequently dismissed it.

Justice Senchi, who authored and delivered the lead judgment, stated that the evidence presented by Ms. Warmate, including a medical report and video recordings of the incident, supported the decision of the trial court. He emphasized that Senator Abbo’s conduct was sufficiently egregious to warrant the penalty, especially considering his position as an elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Senator Abbo’s appeal had contested the September 28 judgment of Justice Samira Bature of the High Court of the FCT in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Ms. Warmate, in which the court found that Senator Abbo’s violent attack on Ms. Warmate constituted inhuman and degrading treatment, violating her fundamental right to human dignity as guaranteed by Section 34 of the Constitution.