Chioma Igbokwe, Vivian Onyebukwa And Molly Kilete (Abuja)
For the embattled Senator Elisha Abbo, there is no end in sight to his self-inflicted travail. The infamous video of his assault of a Nursing at an Abuja adult toy shop is the Pandora’s box that brought him to bad light. Now, the floodgate is open and more damaging revelations are coming into the open, as grave allegations surface from different quarters.
Two of his accusers spoke with Saturday Sun. The worse allegation came from Eunice Tochukwu Ojukwu, his sister-in-law, who alleged that Senator Abbo, battered his late wife, Eucharia Uche Ishiaku, who eventually died ofHIV.
Eunice Tochukwu Ojukwu made this allegation when she visited the Ikeja office of the Sun newspaper yesterday.
“I am the immediate junior sister of Eucharia Uche Ishiaku who was married to the man you all now know as Senator Elisha Abbo,” she declared. “His real name is Clifford Ishiaku, that’s the name we knew him till we saw the story on social media that he is now a senator.”
She lamented that her sister would have been alive if her husband had informed her about his health status.
The second story, from Owolabi Olumuyiwa Tayo, a former business associate of the Adamawa Senator, chronicled in detail their business dealing way back when the man at the centre of the storm was a mere political jobber. Owolabi’s gritty story of abuse of power, disrespect for contract and lack of regard for friendship adds to the grisly portrait of the man who is reportedly Nigeria’s “youngest lawmaker.”
The grim story of his stormy marriage
Without much ado, Eunice Ojukwu spilled the details.
According to her, the couple met sometime before 2009 and before they got married, he converted from Islam to Christianity. On September 26, 2009, they had their church wedding at a Catholic church in Mubi, Adamawa.
Months after, she took ill and thereafter was treating a regular ailment, not knowing that she had been infected with HIV.
“I got to know about her illness in 2012,” she said.
“On her sick bed, she told me everything that happened, especially how she got to know that she was infected with HIV.
She told me that she later discovered that her husband was already infected but held that information from her while they were dating. Unknown to her, he was going for treatment and was still sleeping with her without protection.
“It was destroying her system gradually and that made her sick.” Someone who observed the frequency of her illness had urged her to go for a general test. The Good Samaritan also paid for the test.
“This was how she found out that she was infected with HIV and that it was at a critical stage. When she confronted him with her result, instead of confessing, Senator Abbo battered my sister mercilessly.”
Ojukwu claimed the family got to know about the battering and made an effort to rescue their daughter from the toxic marriage. “We knew that he was raping our sister. He even tried to bring his friend so that both of them will sleep with my sister at the same time. She took a lot of stitches as a result of anal sex forced on her,” she said.
At a point, their father had contacted Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo in Mubi, begging them to bring back her daughter.
“The day she finally left in 2012, Senator Abbo followed her to the motor park and created a scene. He wanted to drag her back but my father pleaded with the driver to ensure that my sister boards the bus back to our village in Anambra.”
Of her sister, she said: “She was a calm person who did not want to lose her marriage, so she kept the information to herself. There were several fights and when my sister calls me, I will plead with her to leave that man but she will refuse. She believed so much in that marriage until she was very sick. There was an instance where he battered her so much in their house in Abuja and dragged her out of the house naked. Anytime that he was beating her up, neighbours tried to intervene and he’d threaten them with a gun.”
She continued: “When they were in Abuja, he would dump her in the hospital for days, and no one would be there to give her food till the hospital alerted us and we’d send someone to her. We were in and out of the hospital for six months before she died in 2013. When my sister died, he called that he was going to deal with me that I was the one that killed my sister.”
She gave an insight into how her sister met him.
“Eunice said that they started dating during her National Youth Service Corps days in Nasarawa in 2008. He had worked for so many known politicians in the north. He visited their orientation camp and they met and became friends. When our sister came up with the story of marriage, my family kicked against it.
My family was against the marriage because they were not in support of inter-tribal marriage. We do not know much about the northerner and their culture. When she died and I posted it on my Facebook wall, her friends doubted it because Senator Abbo did not say anything about it on his Facebook wall.”
Saturday Sun wanted to know why she is coming out with the story now.
Eunice Ojukwu replied: “I want justice for my sister. In 2013, when my sister died, I posted it on Facebook and no one took it seriously. He was a nobody and I was the daughter of a nobody. Then social media was not as strong as it is now. All I want is justice, let no one be deceived by those tears, he is an evil man.”
In a face-saving video circulate on social media, Abbo had apologized to Nigerians over his shameful action, cutting a figure of a remorseful man.
Ojukwu warned: “We are used to that his crocodile tears, whenever he comes begging. Nigerians should not be deceived.”
Death threat and false accusation
On Thursday, four days after the infamous “Assault in a Sex Toy Shop” video went viral, Owolabi Olumuyiwa Tayo was a guest of Saturday Sun. He also came to narrate his ordeal at the hand of Senator Elisha Abbo.
Owolabi, from Ekiti State, was an official photojournalist to former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose in 2014. He rendered an account of his chilling encounter with the Senator.
What was the bone of contention? The Senator refused to pay him for a service he rendered, Owolabi alleged.
“Senator Ishaku had to be a consultant to Fayose then. After the election, he saw my tenacity and approached on my job, he approached me to work with him and I agreed. Then he was aspiring for a senatorial seat under APC in Mubi North, Adamawa State. We travelled together down to Osun State during Omisore’s election because he worked with Omisore as a consultant then. We were in Celebration Hotel for months where I kept recording and doing my job as usual.”
After the job at Osun, he recalled, the Senator left for Abuja and he had to join him there.
“I was at his house for almost six months. We lived together. We were working, travelling down to Yola and back to Abuja.
“We had a contract and I put my proposal to him through his Head of Administration, Mr Adekoya. The first time we lodged at Lelewa Hotel, Adamawa, opposite Adamawa Polytechnic. I did my work as usual and we travelled to his hometown Mushala after Vintim, some kilometres to Cameroon. There I did both the video and photography for him”.
The second time they travelled together was when the incident happened.
His recollection: “I travelled to Lagos to do some things for him. We were supposed to go to Abuja together that very day, but on my way, I couldn’t meet up; my car broke down on the road along Lokoja, so I got to Abuja late. I had to take a flight from Abuja to Yola. That day was the eve of Boko Haram invasion of Mubi, so we were supposed to be in Mubi that very day. When we heard about the news, we couldn’t go, so we lodged at Danzol Hotel in Yola. At this point, I couldn’t take the risk of Boko Haram, so I decided to leave. I approached the Senator to ask for part-payment of my money so that I could go and meet my family and leave that environment. At first, I sent him a text and he did not respond. I called, but he wouldn’t pick. That day some of his people that escaped from Boko Haram came from Mubi to meet him at that hotel and he was giving them money and everything they needed to feel comfortable. I was frustrated because he refused to pick my calls. So around that 5 pm, I tried to reach him but I couldn’t. Out of frustration I went and sit at the doorstep of his room for more than three hours waiting for him to come out and attend to me. On coming out of his hotel room, he said, “Muyiwa you are embarrassing me”, and I told him that I wasn’t embarrassing him, but rather pleading with him to give me my money so that I could go and meet my family.”
At last Owolabi came to the crux of his story: “The next thing he did was to start beating me. He called his orderly to bundle me out of the Hotel at that odd hour. The policemen beat the hell out of me that day. They cocked the gun at me and I said my last prayer. The Senator said that he would tell his people that I was a Boko Haram. I became afraid because I didn’t understand their language. There was nobody I could call; I don’t have a family there. I went there based on my job. That was when I kept quiet. I was just saying my last prayer and I was asking for mercy from God. One of the policemen told him that they should take me to Kaliwa District Police station in Yola. We were there for more than an hour because I did not allow them to take me away from where people were at that odd hour because I did not know where they were taking me. So it was around 2 am that they took me there in their pickup van to the police station. When we got there, there was nobody, no light until one policeman brought a torch and they told him to put me in a cell. They were speaking but I did not understand what they were saying because they were speaking Hausa.”
Did he write any statement at the police station?
He said no, and went on to detail how he was manhandled by the policemen.
“When they were carrying me I was shouting “my ankle. They twisted my neck. I was in severe pain. They tore my clothes. I had to beg the IPO to help me by allowing me to use his phone to call one of my relatives because I did not know anybody there. He obliged and I called one of my brothers who pleaded that the person should assist me. They knew that his action was wrong but he is their person and I am a stranger to them, so there was nothing I could do.”
Succour came his way in the morning when the DPO arrived and after listening to his story, directed that he should be set free.
“Some of the staff that I worked together with came that very morning and they pitied me when they saw my condition. I was helpless, they tore my clothes, broke my ankle, they beat me mercilessly with their guns, the slapped me,” he said.
By Owolabi’s estimate, Senator Abbo owed him N2.8m.
“I did both video and photography. I calculated it per day as we were working for him. It was during the campaign. We were in Celebration Hotel in Ife for a month and we worked at Omisore Radio station. These are the things that accumulated to that amount. His Head of Administration knew about the contract.”
Out of the N2.8m, Abbo paid only N240, 000, Owolabi claimed.
As to why he decided to bring out the issue now after about five years, Owolabi explained: “When I saw the video of the lady he beat, I was so furious that he shouldn’t have gone to that extent. Again, some people were trying to defend him, so I have to tell them that I too have experienced such a thing from him and this is my story.”
Asked if he is driven by an ulterior motive, Owolabi said: “I am not blackmailing him. He can’t deny me. His brothers can’t deny me. I have their contacts. They have called me time without number today, people that we worked together. His Personal Assistant, Musa, that we worked together has called me and said I should ‘die’ down the issue if he tries to pay me.”
Regrettably, the Senator had refused to respond to his efforts to get his attention. “His people have been calling since I opened up. I don’t know if he is the one sending them. I have the conversations of one of his staff in Abuja that is pleading that I shouldn’t have gone too far. He is asking how much I have to collect, and that they can personally rally the money and pay me without even involving the Senator”.
What if the Senator had picked his call?
“I wouldn’t have even done this at all if he had responded to my text messages and phone calls,” he replied. “I pleaded time without number to pay out of the money. I even sent my wife’s account number for him to at least pay something into the account so that my wife can use it to take care of the family I left for months, but he wouldn’t respond to my call”.
He went on: “It’s not that he does not have money; I can assure you he has money to pay. After the incident, he called me to meet him in Lokoja. Then he wanted to work for late Audu Abubakar. We were in a hotel for two weeks, but I think Audu Abubakar did not give him much audience. I thought he wanted to use the avenue to pay me my money because I wanted to sort it out amicably. My brother wanted to contact media houses to make it public, but I discovered that if I had made a move then it would be dangerous for me. Again, I was working with Governor Fayose back then and it was on the eve of his inauguration, so I discovered that it might affect so many things.”
What does he want from the Senator––apology or his money?
“I want both,” Owolabi said.
Big trouble ahead
In the meantime, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command had granted Senator Elisha Abbo bail on personal ground.
Abbo who turned himself in at the police station on Thursday was detained and released on Friday afternoon.
The bail conditions, Saturday Sun gathered, requires the senator to report to the command on a daily basis pending when he would be charged to court.
According to sources, detectives have commenced a review of the video footage of the assault as recorded by the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) installed in the adult toy shop.
The police orderly attached to the embattled senator has also been identified and invited for interrogation by the investigation team, and the senator will be charged for assault, a police source affirmed.
When contacted, Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, confirmed the release of the senator.
Mba said: “As it stands now, he would be charged for assault since there is no bodily injury. But if there was an injury, he would be charged for assault occasioning harm.
“The nature and the number of charges will be dependent on the outcome and findings of the investigation.”
On the fate of the police orderly, Mba said: “We have already said that everay facet of that video will be investigated and we are keeping to our words.”
Mba, refused to comment on whether or not the policeman attached to the senator has been arrested.
Saturday Sun tried severally to get a reaction from Senator Abbo, all to no avail as he refused to respond to the calls.