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Senate suspends Ovie Omo-Agege

The Nigerian Senate has suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege for 90 days following his action and utterances in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to contest the 2019 Presidential election.

The Senate also disbanded the Parliamentary Support Group for Buhari, a group under which Senator Omo Agege and some of his colleagues had operated in recent months in demonstration of their allegiance to President Buhari.

Alleged insinuation

Senate’s resolutions were sequel to the consideration of the report of its committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions, in respect of a complaint from Senator Dino Melaye against Senator Omo-Agege, for allegedly insinuating through a press conference that the amendment to the INEC Act 2010 was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

Although Senator Omo-Agege had tendered his apology in the red chamber, he later proceeded to court challenging the decision of the Senate to treat the matter at the level of its ethics and privileges committee.

The court action did not go down well with members of the committee and so, they recommended a 181 days suspension for Senator Omo-Agege for disregarding the committee and heading to court.

Senator Ovie-Omo Agege is also a member of the Senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions.

Following debate on the report and various interventions by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senator Kabiru Marafa, pleading for leniency on behalf of Senator Omo-Agege, the Senate eventually resolved to peg the suspension at 90 days as against the 181 days as previously recommended.

President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, while ruling on the matter, urged his colleagues to exercise more caution whenever they engage in any action or commitment.

I think in this chamber, if we want to talk about who has the right to even say he is chairman of the parliamentary support group for Mr. President both by action and by what we have done, I think I have the right to be that than anybody else here. But those of us that understand the politics, because of our own peculiar interest, we desire sometimes that we are holier than others or more committed, at the expense of others, that is not something we should tolerate.

And I believe that in an institution like this, we must show that discipline, but at the same time, there must be compassion. We must show that such group must be suspended. The case in court also, must be withdrawn. And in consideration of that, we can look at the leniency of what was recommended, Senator Saraki said.

Case withdrawal

The President of the Senate also gave insight into the implications of the resolution reached based on the consideration of numerous factors touching on the matter.

I think by that we would have captured:

1. No more of this kind of groups in this Senate.

2. The issue of court actions.

3. To show that we are not in any hurry to take anybody away from this family.

4. We must lay example by showing that there is discipline and apply some form of discipline in this matter, the Senate President stated.

Senate also adopted a resolution mandating Senator Ovie-Omo Agege to withdraw the case he instituted in court against the Senate and the President of the Senate.

NDDC Governing Board

In another development, the Senate at its Thursday’s plenary, confirmed the appointment of three Presidential nominees for membership into the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The Board members, whose confirmation was sequel to recommendation by the Senate committee on the NDDC are, Mr. Nwogwu N. Nwogwu, as member representing Abia State on the NDDC board, Mr. Lucky Aiyeditiwa, as member representing Ondo State and Mr. Chuka Nwauwa, who represents Imo State on the NDDC Governing Board.

Presenting the report of his committee, the Chairman, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi submitted that considering the fact that the nominees are indigenes of oil producing areas, coupled with their performance and documents available during screening, the committee finds that the nominees are qualified to represent their States as members of the Governing Board of the NDDC.

Source: Voice of Nigeria