Omo-Agege Floors Senate As Court Overturns His Suspension

Yolanda Curtis
May 13, 2018

In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/314/2018, he prayed the court for an order restraining the upper legislative chamber from denying him access into the Senate chamber and or preventing him from carrying his legitimate duty as a senator in the National Assembly.

The Senate has appealed the nullification of the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.

Besides, the Judge noted that whereas sections 67 (4) of the Senate Standing Rules 2014 and section 21 (2) of the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act, okayed the suspension of any erring lawmaker for 14 legislative days, he said the Senate went contrary to the provisions by handing 90 days suspension to Omo-Agege.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court gave the ruling nullifying the suspension on Thursday. Omo-Agege asked the court to determine whether the Senate had constituted authority to investigate and even discipline a senator, whose case is already before a court of law.

"Access to court is a fundamental right in the Constitution, which can not be taken away by force or intimidation from any organ", the judge ruled.

The committee said he should be suspended for 181 legislative days.

According to him, Omo-Agege's right was not breeched when the senate referred him to its committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions as he erroneously believed.

Dimgba addressed the Senate's decision as an affront on the judiciary.

That was also frowned at by the judge who said it was an abuse of the Senate's powers.

The judge, therefore, nullified Omo-Agege's suspension "with immediate effect".

Justice Dimgba equally ruled that it was a breach of the principle of natural justice for the Senate to allow Senator Dino Melaye to partake in its Ethics and Privileges Committee that recommended Omo-Agege's suspension because Mr Melaye was a petitioner in the matter.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the Senate had on April 13 suspended the senator for 90 legislative days over his comment that the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 seeking the re-ordering of the general elections was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

Other reports by iNewsToday