ibusinesslines.com October 21, 2018

Suspension: Showdown looms as Omo-Agege dares Senate

13 May 2018, 10:18 | Jodi Jackson

Suspension: Showdown looms as Omo-Agege dares Senate

Court overturns Senate's suspension of Omo-Agege

The Federal High Court in Abuja has nullified the suspension of the Delta Central Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, "with immediate effect". Following the suit, the committee recommended that the senator be suspended and he was therefore suspended for 90 legislative days.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in a judgment on Thursday, held that while the National Assembly had the power to discipline Omo-Agage or any of its erring members.

He said the Senate has no power to suspend a senator for more than 14 days.

Aside the Senate and its President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, was equally cited as a defendant in the suit dated March 26.

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

Prior to his suspension by Senate's Ethics and Privileges Committee on April 13, Omo-Agege had approached the court to challenge the decision of the committee to investigate his allegations.

Omo-Agege had accused the Senate of targetting President Muhammadu Buhari with the Electoral Act Amendment, especially that aspect that deals with modification of election sequence.

"Access to court is a fundamental right in the constitution which can not be taken away by force or intimidation from any organ", said Dimgba Igwe, judge of the high court in the capital city Abuja.

However, the court declined to grant any of the seven reliefs Omo-Agege sought in his suit. He also said the cited provision states that the Senate can not take a decision that will tend to oust the functions of the Judiciary.

He argued that the plaintiff was entitled to freedom of expression under the Nigerian constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

The Nation reports that the group speaking at a press briefing in Katsina state on Friday, May 11, urged the upper chamber to respect the recent ruling of the Federal High Court which ruled that the Senate's decision against Omo-Agege was constitutionally defective.

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