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2 May 2019

How Senator Omo-Agege Almost Turned The Senate Upside Again As Tempers Flare

Yesterday there was almost rancour in the Senate as two prominent Nigerian senators got involved in a major disagreement over a court ruling which barred the Senate from considering a report.

The senators involved in the argument were Senator Isah Misau (PDP, Bauchi Central) and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central).

Misau had attacked Omo-Agege accusing him of abusing the judicial process and the generosity of the Bukola Saraki-led Senate with some of his actions, which, he said, was seeking to undermine the institution.

He was giving a reaction to a court order which had restrained the leadership of the National Assembly and eight other parties from looking into the report of the Senate’s ad-hoc committee.

The committee was set up to probe April 18, 2018, invasion of the Senate by some yet-to-be-identified hoodlums.

He said that the main objective of Omo-Agege was to prevent the report of the committee from being considered.

He said Omo-Agege’s action was a good reason why the Senate should actually go ahead and consider the report and act on it, no matter the odds.

Recall that in April 2018, some hoodlums invaded the Senate chamber during plenary, and carted away the mace which serves as a symbol of authority in the legislature.

Omo-Agege have been accused of leading the hoodlums into the chamber, however, he denied the accusations.

A joint ad-hoc committee was constituted to investigate the invasion of the Senate chamber.

The committee recommended the immediate suspension of Ovie Omo-Agege, the Delta Central senator, for 180 legislative days.

It also called for the immediate prosecution of Omo-Agege and six other suspects on charges of treasonable felony, assault occasioning harm, conspiracy to steal and actual theft of the mace.

They also stated that Omo-Agege should face prosecution for incitement and breach of peace within the Senate chamber.

Omo-Agege, however, challenged the legitimacy of the ad-hoc committee in court.

An Abuja high court on Tuesday restrained the national assembly leadership and eight others from considering the report of the ad-hoc committee, Daily Trust newspaper reported.

The court said the restraining order shall remain pending the determination of a suit filed by Omo-Agege.

Misau, in his statement, said the court cannot stop the legislature from the performance of its constitutional duties.

“Omo-Agege has dared the Senate. Now, he should face the music. I blame the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki for delaying on the consideration of the report.

“The Eighth Senate is winding down and the general view of members is that before we leave, all outstanding reports should be considered and acted upon. If Omo-Agege does not have any hidden agenda, why is he seeking to stop the consideration of the report. After all, he was given a fair hearing to state his own case before the panel?

“He is probably running helter-skelter now because he wants to become Deputy Senate President and he knows that if we adopt the recommendation of the committee, the outcome will affect his ambition. This is the reason why people should always consider the future implications of their actions,” he said.

He urged the Senate leadership to move swiftly to vacate the injunction granted to Omo-Agege by the Bwari court and ensure that the Senate is not stopped by anything from getting to the root cause of that invasion by hoodlums.

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