OrderPaperToday – The Senate has suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta) for 90 legislative days over remarks on the electoral act amendment bill which allegedly breached the privilege of senators.
Senator Omo-Agege was among 10 senators who posited that the reordering of the sequence elections contained in the bill was targeted against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sen. Dino Melaye had in a point of order requested that the matter be investigated by the Senate committee on Ethics and Privileges.
Sen. Ovie however apologized for his statements but unfortunately the committee was told to fast track its report on the matter.
On the day the committee convened, the Delta senator had filed a suit in court to stop the Senate from investigating him.
Presenting the report during Thursday’s plenary, the chairman, Sen. Sam Anyanwu (PDP, Imo) recommended that the lawmaker erred by his stance and thus proposed a 181 legislative day suspension.
According to Anyanwu, the statement of “Ovie Omo-Agege was malicious, unfounded and aimed at smearing the institution of the Senate.
“That when Sen. Ovie appeared before the committee, he responded that he would not be able to make any presentation before the committee because he had taken the matter to court and the matter be postponed until it is discharged by the court.”
Anyanwu further stated that the Delta senator also partnered with Sen. Abdullahi Adamu to publish an advertorial in Vanguard Newspaper with the heading, ‘Parliamentary support group in Senate for President Muhammadu Buhari’ “suggesting that the Senate was biased.”
Sen. Anyanwu declared that this action infuriated the members of the committee especially because “Sen. Ovie is an experienced lawyer and a member of the committee and is conversant with the modus operandi therefore must be punished to serve as a deterrent to others who might contemplate to take the Senate to court over its internal matters.”
The chairman of the committee proposed a 181 legislative day suspension.
Immediately the Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan stood up and appealed that the red chamber be compassionate over the matter because the Delta senator only went to court for the fear of possible drastic measures.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki sternly warned against forming groups in the institution and cautioned on issue of court action.
He noted that, the red chamber is not “in any hurry to take anybody away from this family” and concluded that an example must be laid “by showing that there is discipline and apply some form of discipline on this matter.”
He then recommended that the “the senator involved should withdraw the case, the support group should be disbanded and out of compassion, we amend the recommendation of the committee to 90 days and we move forward.”