Omo-Agege saga: Buhari support group wants Senate to respect court ruling

Senator-Omo-Agege

Senator Omo Agege

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja has nullified the 90-legislative-day suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and ordered his immediate reinstatement. It had been suspended for 90 legislative days.

He said the Senate is only empowered to suspend an earring member for 14 days and 1 legislative day.

"Access to court is a constitutional right which can not be taken away", Mr Dimgba said.

The court faulted the senate for punishing Ovie Omo-Agege after he filed a suit challenging some decisions of the parliament, asserting that the suspension amounted to intimidation and an affront on the court.

Omo-Agege had said the legislation "unfairly" targeted President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Pradhan said that a part of the stored oil will be used for commercial purposes by Adnoc, but the major part will be purely for strategic purposes.

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. The court however also ruled that the Senate had the power to punish its members.

The AGF told the court that decision Senate took against Omo-Agege was illegal and unconstitutional and ought to be declared a nullity. 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. According to the judge, although the plaintiff, as a senator, is not prohibited from holding a contrary view from his colleagues, the right to freedom of expression is not absolute.

Justice Dimgba said the fact that only the Attorney General of the Federation has the power to initiate criminal proceeding against such offender did not bar the Senate from deploying its internal disciplinary measures against erring lawmaker.

He also ruled that the principle of natural justice was breached by the Senate's Ethics and Privileges Committee by allowing Senator Dino Melaye who was the complainant to participate in the committee's sitting that consider the issue and also allowed to sign the committee's report.

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