Senate Cannot Suspend Omo-Agege, Court Rules

The Federal High Court in Abuja has nullified the suspension of the Delta Central Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, by the Senate, describing the action as unconstitutional.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in a judgment that lasted one hour on Thursday, held that while the National Assembly had the power to discipline its erring members, the premise on which Omo-Agege’s suspension was anchored was illegal.

Although the court refused to grant any of the seven prayers sought by the senator, ‎it held that the suspension could not hold on grounds of the “violence” it did to the Constitution.

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 leveled against him.
“Access to court is a fundamental right in the Constitution, which cannot be taken away by force or intimidation from any organ,” the judge ruled.
The judge also added that the Senate’s decision to punish Omo-Agege for filing a suit against the Senate and for punishing him while his suit was pending constituted an affront on the judiciary.

He added that even if the Senate had rightly suspended the senator, it could only have suspended him for only a period of 14 days — as prescribed in the Senate rules.

ALSO READ:   Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai Is Dead

He also ruled that the principle of natural justice was breached by the Senate’s Ethics and Privileges Committee