Buhari supporter, Senator Omo-Agege suspended for 90 days - Caesarscircuit.com


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Friday, 13 April 2018

Buhari supporter, Senator Omo-Agege suspended for 90 days

*Senate disbands Buhari support group 
The Senate’s hammer fell on another senator yesterday for dissent over the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC Delta Central), who opposed the electoral sequence reorder in the Bill alongside nine others, was suspended for 90 legislative days following the adoption of a report by the Ethics and disciplinary committee headed by Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East).

President Muhammadu Buhari vetoed the bill.
It reversed the existing sequence of election in the country, placing the National Assembly first, with the presidential election coming last. But the National Assembly is poised to override the veto.

Coming under the aegis of Parliamentary Support Group for Buhari, the group of senators held a media briefing where they openly disagreed with the Senate.

Omo-Agege said during the media briefing that 59 senators were against the bill, a claim he failed to substantiate when called upon to do so.

The Nation reports that the Senate also called on the ten senators to disband the Parliamentary Support Group for Buhari as a condition for maintaining the peace among the lawmakers. It also ordered Omo-Agege to withdraw his case from court.

Presenting the report that nailed Omo-Agege at plenary, Senator Anyanwu said the suspended lawmaker declined to make presentation to the committee on the grounds that he had already taken the matter to court.

When grilled by the Senate on the matter, an obviously overwhelmed Omo-Agege had tendered an apology for his role in the activities of the pro Buhari group. But the apology did not stop the Senate from referring his case to the Ethics and Privileges committee.

In its report, the committee recommended 181 legislative days suspension for Omo-Agege, but it was reduced following the intervention of some senators during the debate.

The report stated among others: “That the committee is of the opinion that the action by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of going to court after apologising to the Senate was totally unacceptable, especially as an experienced lawyer and member of the committee who is conversant with the modus operandi of same, and therefore must be punished to serve as deterrent to others who might contemplate taking the Senate to court over its internal matters”.

Subtle pleas by Senators Kabiru Marafa, Bala Ibn Na’Allah and Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan for a more lenient punishment for Omo-Agege failed to the sway the senators who viewed the suspended lawmaker’s action as an affront.

Marafa said, “Omo-Agege to me has the constitutional right to express his views. But like the leader said, I think he has done something which to me deserves commendation. If someone does something that you cannot do we need to commend him. He stood on the floor of the Senate to apologise which to be is a very great thing”.

Na’Allah said, “For anybody here to go and have a press conference and say the Senate had taken a decision against Mr President, is a most uncharitable thing to do. It does not befit his office as a senator.

“But happliy enough, Senator Omo-Agege came here and had the courage to apologise for the statement. But it is much more than that. There are places you dare not talk about the President when some senators are from there. By implication, he is putting their lives at risk.

“As a family, we must have discipline and must live peacefully for this institution and the only way we can do it, is that get the consquence of what they are saying.

“Let us take away sentiments. We are going to leave here whether we like it or not; either through death or whatever. But this institution will remain. We must be very careful about it”.

Senate President Bukola Saraki said the action taken by Omo-Agege and his group smacked of insincerity, saying if they were to be any parliamentary group in support of President Buhari, he, more than anyone else, should lead such a group.

He said: “Those of us that understand politics, understand that because of our own peculiar interests, 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”.

Before bringing down the gavel to confirm Omo-Agege’s suspension, Saraki said there shouldn’t be any more of such groups in the Senate and that the suspended lawmaker should withdraw his case from court.

“We are not in any hurry to take anybody away from this family; and we must lay down an example by showing that there is discipline and apply some form of discipline on this matter”.

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