Court Nullifies Senate's Suspension of Senator Omo-Agege


Senator Omo Agege

Senator Omo-Agege who is representing Delta Central Senatorial district had in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/314/2018, prayed the court to quash his suspension and declare that he was illegally barred from attending plenary at the Senate.

The judge further stated that the court took judicial notice of the fact that while the suit was pending in court, the senate went ahead to suspend the senator for 90 legislative days.

Giving the judgement, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba averred that the Senate's decision regarding the suspension, as well as the pattern adopted by the National Assembly, was constitutionally defective.

"The suspension of the plaintiff for 90 days is ultra-vires of powers of the 1st defendant (Senate)", the court held, adding that "any suspension of member of the Senate exceeding 14 days is null and void and unconstitutional".

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

Recall that on the 12th of April, the Senate suspended Omo-Agege for 90 days over his remarks on the electoral act amendment bill.

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

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Though the court refused prayers one to seven of the plaintiff, however, it relied on the 8th relief which had sought for "any other order as may be deemed by the court". 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.

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

But Omo-Agege opposed this and accused the upper chamber of working against the President.

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

The judge therefore cancelled Omo-Agege's suspension.

Justice Dimgba nullified the suspension after stating that the reason given for the suspension of Omo-Agege by the Ethics and Privileges Committee was a fundamental breach of the Constitution.

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