Court sets aside Omo-Agege's suspension

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Earlier on Thursday, the Federal High Court in Abuja nullified the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and declared it illegal.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in a judgment on Thursday, held that while the National Assembly had the power to discipline Omo-Agage or any of its erring members.

NAIJ.com had reported that the Senate had suspended Ovie Omo-Agege an All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator from Delta state, for 90 legislative days.

Ahead of his suspension, Mr Omo-Agege approached the court, challenging the decision of the Senate to investigate his allegations.

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

He said, "Access to court is a fundamental right in the Constitution which can not be taken away by force or intimidation from any organ", adding that the Senate's decision to punish Omo-Agage for filing a suit against the Senate and for punishing him while his suit was pending constituted an affront on the judiciary.

He apologised to the Senate over his comments but the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges recommended his suspension.

He also said the cited provision states that the Senate can not take a decision that will tend to oust the functions of the Judiciary.

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Justice Dimgba, however, added that despite the fact that the Senate had a constitutional duty to discipline its members; such disciplinary measures must comply with provisions of the law.

Dimgba said that the reason given by the Senate and the Senate President for suspending Omo-Agege was unconstitutional.

"Consequently, the 1st and 2nd defendants to pay the plaintiff any outstanding salary and entitlement within the period of his suspension".

While the court denied granting any of the seven prayers sought by the senator, ‎it however ruled that the suspension could not hold on grounds of the "violence" it did to the constitution.

The Senate the Senate and the Senate President have promptly filed a Notice of Appeal and a Motion for Stay of Execution of the same Judgement on the 10th of May, 2018.

The Senate and Saraki had through their lawyer, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), queried the competence of the suit, insisting that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the case which they said was an internal affair of the legislature.

The court disagreed with the plaintiff that to have referred him to ethic and privileges committee was erroneous.

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