Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has said that the Senate’s decision to suspend one of its members, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was because he took the legislative house to court.
The Senate during plenary on Thursday, suspended Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Omo-Agege for 90 legislative days. With the suspension, the senator will not participate in legislative activities till 2019.
According to NAN, Omo-Agege had sued the Senate to stop his appearance before the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions over comments made on the amendment of the Electoral Act, 2018.
A letter addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, also copied the Ethic Committee, said the subject matter for which Omo-Agege was to appear before the committee was already in court.
The letter dated March 26, 2018 was signed by Ifeoluwa Ojediran for Summit Law Chambers.
Omo-Agege during the consideration of the amendment, kicked against it and later briefed newsmen saying that the move to adjust the electoral sequence was targeted at President Buhari.
However, Saraki who spoke during plenary on Thursday, regretted that the senate had to get to the point of having to take such decisive action against one of its members.
However Saraki who frowned at the senator for taking internal matters of the senate to court, insisted that preserving the institution of the Senate and the National Assembly was very paramount which was why issues that border on the sanctity of the senate have to be dealth with according to the rules of the Senate.
“Distinguished Colleagues, a number of points have been raised. One borders on the issue of preserving the integrity of this institution. To me, that is what i think is the most important thing for us.
“Distinguished Colleagues I hope we will not have to come to these sorts of situations again at this point in this democratic process. We can cue on this and move forward,” he said.
On the parliamentary support group for President Buhari, Saraki said that the group lacked sincerity adding that based on actions and inaction, he (Saraki) was the right person to chair such a group in the National Assembly.
He said that the formation and chairmanship of the group was done to present some of them in better light and others in the wrong lights.
“Sometimes some people decide to act like they are holier than thou or more committed – at the expense of others. This is not something that we should tolerate, and I believe that in an institution like this we must show discipline, but at the same time we must also show compassion.
“Distinguished Colleagues, there must be discipline. We must show that such groups must be suspended and the case in court must be withdrawn.
With the suspension, Omo-Agege will stay suspended for 90 legislative days. This means that if the senate were to sit without any interruption, recess or adjournment for committee work, it would take 30 weeks (7 months) for Omo-Agege to completely serve his suspension.
Currently the senate is yet to take its over 2-months long annual recess as well as its December break during which times the suspension will not be counted.
The senator had gone against the senate during the consideration of the electoral act amendment and went ahead to grant a press conference where he said that the move by the senate was targetted at President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senator was one of the 9 other senators who had insisted during the amendment that the election sequence targeted President Muhammadu Buhari.
His comments which infuriated other senator was seen as unethical and the senate mandated its committee on Ethics to investigate the matter.
However, Omo-Agege who later recanted came to the floor on another legislative day to tender an unreserved apology to his colleagues, however Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the day’s plenary only noted the apology and asked the ethics committee to submit its reports as soon as possible.