Adamawa-North lawmaker, Senator Elisha Abbo, has been drawn into a fresh scandal as a photojournalist, Olumuyiwa Owolabi, has accused him of assault and breach of the agreement.
Owolabi told The PUNCH that Abbo not only assaulted him but got the police to lock him up in Adamawa.
He said he first met Abbo in 2014 during the run-up to the June 2014 Ekiti State governorship election which Ayodele Fayose won.
Owolabi, who was the official photographer of Fayose during the election, said he met Abbo in Ekiti State and Abbo told him that he would like him to do some jobs for him.
He said, “The viral video of Senator Elisha Abbo assaulting a young lady isn’t a new to me as I was one of his victims of assault years back.
“I met him during the campaign of former Governor Ayodele Fayose while I was the official photojournalist assigned to Fayose during the electioneering campaign and later head of photojournalists to his deputy after the election.”
The photojournalist said Abbo, who was contesting for senator on the platform of the All Progressives Congress at the time, entered into a contract with him to cover his political activities at the cost of N2.8m.
He said on August 13, 2014, he travelled with Abbo to Yola, Adamawa State, from Abuja by air and they lodged at Lelewa hotel for weeks while campaigning for the primaries which was eventually won by Senator Binta Garba.
The photojournalist said he travelled along with the senator from Adamawa to Mubi, Vintim Muchala to Mubi and later back to Yola after he lost the senatorial primary.
Owolabi said, “On approaching Senator Abbo to enforce the contract agreement we had, he refused to pay. He ignored several pleas for him to just give me part of my money.
“On the fateful day we wanted to travel together to Mubi for the last campaign, Boko Haram invaded the place prior to the day we ought to have travelled. Due to the attack by Boko Haram, I began to plead with him that I needed to leave the state.
“After several text messages and calls put through to him were ignored, I had no choice but to sit in front of his room where he was lodged at Dansoho Hotel, Yola. This was around 5pm.”
The photojournalist alleged that when Abbo saw him, he got so angry that he began to beat him, slapping him repeatedly.
Owolabi said Abbo quickly called a policeman and told the cop that he was a Boko Haram suspect and should be arrested immediately.
The photojournalist further stated, “As soon as he came out, I began to plead with him that I had to go. The next thing he said was that I was embarrassing him. He started beating and slapping me. He told his orderly to put me inside the pickup truck. He told them to point their guns at me and that he would kill me and tell people I was a member of Boko Haram.
“When I heard that statement, I was shocked because I didn’t know anybody there and I couldn’t speak their language fluently. No one could come to my rescue when he brutalised me, causing me to sprain my ankle.
“I began begging him to just leave me and let me go that I would leave the money for him because of his action.”
He alleged that Abbo’s police escort took him to Kaliwa Police Division around 2am with the instruction that he should be shot dead if he failed to comport himself.
Owolabi said Abbo had broken his phone at the time and so he was locked up in the police station without any means of contacting anyone.
The photojournalist added, “He had damaged my phone I couldn’t contact anybody; he tore my clothes and I was virtually naked.
“That very night, on getting to Kaliwa police station, I begged the investigating police officer to please let me use his phone to talk to one of my relatives. That was how I called one of my brothers that pleaded with the IPO to assist me out of the situation.
“The DPO came the following morning and begged him (Abbo) to give me transport fare to go back to meet my family. Till date, he hasn’t paid me the money.”
The photojournalist, who pleaded with Nigerians to help him, also shared photos of private chats he purportedly had with the senator.
Attempts to speak with the senator proved abortive as calls put through to his telephone indicated that it was switched off while a text message was not responded to as of 7am on Thursday.
Nationwide Strike: NLC Shuts Offices, Schools In Delta
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Delta chapter has started to shut offices and schools in Asaba ahead of the planned strike over delay to implement the new minimum wage.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on Wednesday that the NLC members were seen patrolling Asaba in a marked Hiace mini-bus, closing government offices and turning back school children.
Recall that the national body of the NLC had threatened to go on strike from Thursday if the Federal Government fails to meet its demand on the consequential adjustment.
Before the meetings, labour was demanding a 29 per cent increase for officers at grade levels 07 to 14 and 24 per cent adjustment for officers at grade levels 15 to 17.
While the Federal Government proposed an 11 per cent increase for officers at grade level 07 to 14 and 6.5 per cent adjustment for workers at grade level 15 to 17.
Mr Goodluck Ofuburuku, NLC State chairman confirmed to NAN on the phone that labour was on strike in the state.
“We are on strike and that is all I can tell you for now. We expect offices and schools to comply.
“The strike is in force that is why we are going round to enforce compliance,” Ofoburuku said.
NAN reports that most government offices and schools within Asaba metropolis were closed as at this morning.
The state government secretariat, along Okpanam road, was equally shut as some workers who had reported for work were seen milling around the gate.
Mrs. Tina Okolo, a civil servant told NAN that the NLC members came and locked her office premises and ask the workers to go home.
“They came this morning and ask us to go home. I reported to work at about 8:15am, but now am going home.
“I don’t know much about the strike, so I am just waiting to see how things will turn out,” Okolo said.
NAN reports that the gate of West-End Mixed Secondary School, Asaba, was also closed, as the students were seen going home at about 10:15 am.
A teacher, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the students had been asked to go home because of the strike.
Also, members of the NLC were seen at the Achievers Group of Schools, DLA road Asaba, driving out the students and trying to lock up the school gate.
However, most banks in Asaba remained open for business as customers continued their transactions without hindrance.
Kayode Alfred Now Writes For This Day Newspapers
Industrious entrepreneur-cum-society Kayode Olanshile Alfred has officially joined the leading and widest-circulated news journal, This Day Newspaper as a columnist. The award-winning and dynamic writer will be reporting the social lifestyle of the rich and the famous personalities in the society.
The unassuming Kayode, still in the attitude of his passion for the written word, either by commission or omission again went back to his first love as a columnist with This Day on Sunday where he resumed with his society page, High Life.
The charismatic, innovative and very industrious Kayode Alfred, is one of Nigeria’s most prolific society writers that is dedicated, even obsessive, about his work even as he loathes the disappointments that at times, come with it. Alfred will always be a pride of the journalism industry, especially when it comes to society reporting. His impressive career as a journalist speaks volumes and this is just stating the obvious, as he has proved this over time, with his gist, interviews, articles, and stories on those who matter in the society.
The Lagos State University graduate has carved a niche for himself in this volatile industry and can conveniently rank among the best five in society reportage, and this is no hyperbole.
He started making waves in the pen-pushing world many years back, when he joined the National Encomium magazine as a very pro-active Society writer, the credentials of which gave him the leverage to move instructively to The Nation Newspapers, to resume his normal beat as a prolific society writer, with his must-read page, called Society Watch in The Nation on Saturday.
The journalist turned designer has carved a niche for himself among fashion buffs. He can also be regarded as a celebrity journalist and fashion aficionado, a self-driven entrepreneur with astounding diligence and sartorial depth. It is no surprise, therefore, that his foray into the fashion world is predicated on the high art and culture of bespoke designs.
Sanwo-Olu Declares Emergency On Lagos Roads As Work Begins
Work begins today(Monday) on the deplorable city roads in Lagos State as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday declared an emergency on the situation.
The governor gave the directive for the commencement of repairs to construction companies. It followed his promise last week to start fixing the roads immediately after the rains.
Lagosians have been groaning under the state of roads and the attendant traffic situation. The extended rainfall has not helped matters.
According to the governor, all the construction companies had been mandated to mobilize their tools to the sites assigned to them.
He said: “This (Sunday) afternoon, we have just concluded meetings with various reputable construction companies and all of them have been given the brief to immediately commence major construction work in various parts of the state. The exercise will begin tomorrow with palliative work on the selected roads, which are on the Island and the Mainland.
“The contractors have been given the mandate to start mobilizing their equipment to their respective sites without further delay. Their activities must first give our people immediate relief on the affected roads so that there can be a free flow of traffic even during the rehabilitation work.”
To complement the major construction work on the highway, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) would be carrying out repairs on 116 inner roads across the state.
This, he said, would be in addition to the over 200 roads already rehabilitated by the corporation in the last three months.
Sanwo-Olu said his administration was not oblivious of the pain experienced by road users in the past few days, which was compounded by the persistent downpour.
He appealed to residents to bear with the government while efforts were being made to assuage their pains and bring permanent relief to them.
He said: “We expect the rains will begin to subside in this month of October and this is why we are mobilizing our contractors to immediately start the major construction work on the identified highways and bring permanent relief to residents. I am giving all Lagosians the assurance that the contractors will start the construction in earnest and will deliver on the terms of agreements reached with them.”
Sanwo-Olu said officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would be working round the clock to control traffic on the areas where the construction would take place.
The Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye, listed some of the critical areas to include Ojota stretch of the Ikorodu Road; Motorways – Kudirat Abiola Way; Apogbon Highway; Babs Animashaun Road; Agric/Ishawo and Ijede roads in Ikorodu as well as Lekki-Epe Expressway from Abraham Adesanya to Eleko Junction.
She added that there would be massive re-construction on a network of roads in Ikoyi, Ikeja GRA and Victoria Island.
The contractors deployed by the government are: Julius Berger, Hitech, Arab Contractors, Metropolitan Construction, Slavabogu Construction, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Rajaf Foundation Construction and RCF Nigeria Limited.