Court dismisses suit seeking to stop Omo-Agege's reinstatement

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege

The Senate had on April 13, 2018, suspended him for 90 legislative days over his media comments considered by the upper legislative chamber as offensive.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Bala Ibn Na'Allah, announced the summons after a sitting by the panel.

"By complying with the judgment without any conditions whatsoever the Senate has demonstrated leadership by example", Falana said in a statement which he issued shortly after the news of the Senate's decision to welcome Omo-Agege back to his legislative duties on Tuesday.

A week after, Dino Melaye (Kogi-APC) drew the attention of the Senate specifically to the comments made by Mr Omo-Agege.

Ndume representing Borno and Omo-Agege from Delta on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were summoned for allegedly aiding the invaders in an incident that happened on April 18. The senator made the accusation after his colleagues adopted the amendment to section 25 of Electoral Act outlining a change in the sequence of elections.

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.

He therefore held that the motion was not anchored on any cognisable ruling that was delivered by his court and that he could not grant an order for stay of execution as prayed by the defendants.

"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 and ordered the Senate to pay Omo-Agege all his salaries and allowances.

"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.

Justice Dimgba held that while the Senate has the powers to sanction its erring members to protect its integrity, he said no institution or authority has the powers to deny any citizen his right of access to the court.

Omo-Agege had approached the court with a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/314/2018, challenging his suspension from the Senate, saying it was illegal.

According to him, Omo-Agege's right was not breached when the Senate referred him to its committee on Ethics, Privilege and Public Relations.

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