Senator Omo-Agege shows up, joins colleagues for plenary at upper chamber

Omo-Agege

The Senate had on April 12, 2018, suspended Omo-Agege for 90 legislative days for dragging the chamber to court over the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 which seeks to reshuffle the sequence of polls during a general election.

Justice Dimgba said the court has powers under section 4 (8) of the 1999 constitution to intervene in affairs of the Senate, "whether internal or external, when it acts beyond it's powers or in breach of the constitution". "In the circumstance, he held that the application lacked merit and struck same out", said Mr Duku.

Falana, on Tuesday, renewed his call for the release El-Zakzaky, the cleric's wife, and Dasuki from the custody of the DSS in obedience to court orders, urging the government to emulate the Senate.

The National Assembly joint committee set up to investigate the April 18, 2018, invasion of Senate chamber has invited former Senate leader, Ali Ndume, as well as embattled Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to explain their alleged roles.

Dimgba recalled that he dismissed, among other reliefs the request by Omo-Agege to stop the Senate from punishing him for any offence he has committed.

The Judge said that if an application is appealing against reliefs he refused to grant, is of no significant to the vacation of suspension order.

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

He said the present application which the Senate sought a stay of execution of nullification of the suspension order, did not target the May 10 judgment.

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"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.

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. Judiciary is the hope of the common man and access to court is one of the key indicators of democracy and rule of law.

He added that even if the Senate had rightly suspended the senator, it could only have suspended him for only a period of 14 days - as prescribed in the Senate rules.

Having nullified Omo-Agege's suspension, Justice Dimgba further ordered the Senate to pay the plaintiff all his salaries and allowances.

"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.

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

The judge noted that from the wording of the report of the Senate's Ethics and Privileges Committee which recommended Omo-Agege's suspension, he was punished for filing a suit against the Senate after apologising to the legislative house over the allegation levelled against him.

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