Senate backpedals on Omo-Agege, allows him to resume

Elias Hubbard
May 17, 2018

The court noted that it was wrong for the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to suspend Omo-Agege for going to court after he had apologised over his comments against the Senate.

THE Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday dismissed an application brought before it by the Senate, seeking a stay of execution of the May 10, 2018 judgement of the court, which nullified the suspension of the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege from the Upper legislative chamber. "In the circumstance, he held that the application lacked merit and struck same out", said Mr Duku.

However, he failed to show up at the Senate on Tuesday as expected.

The judge also added that the Senate's decision to punish Omo-Agege for filing a suit against the Senate and for punishing him while his suit was pending constituted an affront on the judiciary.

NAIJ.com earlier reported that a joint ad-hoc committee of the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives investigating the recent invasion of the upper chamber by alleged hoodlums and stealing of the mace has summoned Ali Ndume and Ovie Omo-Agege.

"Justice Nnamdi Dimgba refused the application on the chief ground that, strictly speaking, there is no appeal against his decision nullifying the suspension".

He asked the court to among other reliefs, grant an order restraining the defendants, their servants, agents, privies or officers from interfering with his rights and privileges as a senator and to make any order that it may be deem fit.

"Having regard to the settled position of the law as expoused by our courts in not less than five cases wherein the suspension of legislators by legislative houses was annulled and set aside the Senate should withdraw the appeal filed against the judgment of the Federal High Court in the case of Senator Omo-Agege".

"Access to court is a constitutional right that can not be taken away from".

It will be recalled that the high court had in its judgment, held that the reason the Senate adduced for suspending Omo-Agege was unconstitutional.

"Access to court is one key indicator of a democracy, the exercise of his rights can not be a basis for punishment".

The judge also said that the 90 legislative day suspension was against Order 67, Rule 4 of the Senate Standing Rules which provided for a lawmaker to be suspended for only 14 legislative days.

"This court is minded to say that the reason for the suspension of the plaintiff by the 1st and 2nd defendants was unconstitutional", Justice Dimgba said.

The court ordered the Senate to recall the plaintiff immediately and equally pay him any salary or allowance that accrued to him within the period he was illegally suspended.

He maintained that suspending the senator for more than 14 days was denying his constituents the required representation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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