Nigerians may be in for another political drama,as usual, just as the lawmaker representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ovie Omo – Agege, vowed to resume his legislative duties after winning a suspension case against the senate in Federal High Court, Abuja.
Though the Upper Legislative Chamber and its President, Bukola Saraki, have filed an appeal against the Federal High Court ’s judgment nullifying Omo-Agege’s suspension.
The appeal not withstanding “will not affect my legislative duties” Omo-Agege said while reacting to the action of the Senate’s Appeal.
It’d be recalled that the Senate on April 12, 2018, the Senate in a controversial manner suspended Omo -Agege for 90 legislative days for dragging the chamber to court over the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010, which seeks to reshuffle the sequence of polls during a general election.
In a statement he said the planned election sequence was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.
He later tendered a formal apology, but that wouldn’t stop his suspension as his action was seen as an affront to the “powerful” and controversial Nigerian Senate.
A week after his suspension, Omo-Agege, surpassingly stormed plenary on April 18, during which hoodlums invaded the The House and forcibly taking away the mace.
Nigerian police later claimed they found it (the mace) under a bridge in Abuja.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who nullified the suspension, in the judgment, had said the order nullifying the suspension was “ with immediate effect” giving the senator political audacity to resume as soon as possible.
Omo-Agege said the Senate and Saraki have only applied for a stay of execution at the Court of Appeal which has not been granted.
He accused Saraki of seeking the relief for a stay of execution from a court of law which he had allegedly ignored and gone ahead to approve his suspension.
What Senator Omo-Agege said
“The judgment that was delivered by the court says that the court was nullifying my suspension ‘with immediate effect. ’ If they go ahead and apply for a stay of execution, no court has granted them that . Until that stay is granted, the ‘nullification ’ is with immediate effect. They have applied to have a stay but that stay has not been granted .
“Two, the order of the court is a declaratory order . A declaratory order is not ‘ stayable ’ in law. The order that the court made , nullifying my suspension with immediate effect , is a declaratory order and it is not ‘ stayable ‘ in law . In any event that they apply for a stay , unless and until the court grants that stay , the judgment of the lower court is to take an immediate effect .
“Three , the Senate President is in contempt of court because my action was pending in court but he showed a total disregard for the court and proceeded to suspend me while my case in court. That by itself is contempt. The relief he is seeking from the court now – stay of execution – is an equitable relief.
“He who comes to equity must come with clean hands . You cannot be in contempt of the court and ask the same court to grant you an equitable relief. His hands in law are soiled and dirty . Therefore , he is not entitled to an equitable relief in court.
“As far as I am concerned , based on my knowledge of the law , that purported suspension by Saraki has been vacated with immediate effect. They have the right to appeal and they have already filed it . But they are not entitled to the equitable relief of stay of the court ’s judgment,” he said.
The Punch quoted counsel to the Senate and its President, Mr. Mahmud Magaji ( SAN) , as saying that he had filed along with his notice of appeal , an application for stay of execution of the judgment reinstating Omo -Agege .
At the time of going to press, there’s no official statement from the Senate.
It’s going to be another interesting encounter if Senator Omo-Agege is allowed into the chamber. But the senate is likely to take a smart move against him by fortifying the chamber with heavily armed security operatives considering what happened in April 18, when Senate was stolen.
So, Omo-Agege may be prevented from gaining entry into the senate chamber. And the Senate will sight security concerns as basis of its action
Infobase.com.ng will keep you updated.