- Omo-Agege’s constituents fault the suspension of their senator
- The group say they will not allow Saraki to expel their senator from representing them
- Senators storm National Hospital to visit Dino Melaye
Some constituents of Delta central senatorial district on Wednesday April 25, asked the Senate to reverse the suspension of their senator, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Premium Times reports that the constituents under the umbrella of Delta Central Collective, in a letter addressed to Senate president Bukola Saraki, threatened to resort to individual or collective representation in the Senate if their demand is not me.
The group in a protest at the National Assembly argued that the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege violates the constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria and other extant laws.
The constituents said they would not allow Saraki to expel their senator from representing them and called on the Senate president to urgently allow Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to continue to represent them without any hindrance .
Copied in the letter are President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, attorney-general of the federation, national security adviser, inspector-general of police, director-general of the state security service, commandant-general of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, chairman of National Human Rights Commission and the commissioner of police, FCT command.
Below is the letter written by Senator Omo-Agege’s constituents:
“On Thursday, April 12, 2018, you moved the Senate to again violate the letters and spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and other extant laws by purporting to suspend our Distinguished Senator Ovie Omo-Agege from the Nigerian Senate for 90 legislative days. By this act, you are now denying our over six (6) million people of Delta Central Senatorial District representation in the Senate.
"In proper context, we have been constructively and effectively expelled from the 8th Senate. We totally reject this act of impunity as it violates our people’s inalienable constitutional right to elect a Senator of their choice to represent them.
“The ‘suspension’ of our Senator and Delta Central from the Senate is extremely provocative, considering that Mr. Senate President said that it is a “sanction” against our Senator Omo-Agege for:
a. associating with about 60 other serving senators as a frontline member and the Secretary of the Parliamentary Support Group (PSG) for President Muhammadu Buhari;
b. expressing a dissenting opinion on a contentious amendment to Section 25 of the Electoral Act, 2010 regarding election sequence to the extent that, “There is a perception out there that the amendment is targeted at Mr. President (Buhari)” – a perception repeatedly confirmed by many authoritative sources; and
c. seeking proper legal interpretation of the 1999 Constitution in certain areas.”
The group noted that the offences for which Mr Omo-Agege was suspended cannot be justified under any act of the 1999 Constitution
Indeed, under the constitution and law, a senator can only vacate his seat if he dies; resigns; is recalled; decamps from the party on whose platform he was elected (without a division in that party); or he is otherwise removed by an appropriate court.
“The Senate has no constitutional powers to suspend or nullify a Senator’s election to represent his people. This is the main legal point already settled in rem in the cases of: Ali Ndume v Senate (i.e. also against the 8th Senate where Senator Saraki is Senate President); Bauchi State House of Assembly v. Hon. Danna; Usman v. Kaduna State House of Assembly; and Hon. Melaye v. House of Representatives.”
“Given that the judgment in the Ndume case is against this 8th Senate that you lead and the 8th Senate did not appeal against it, it stands to reason that you are fully aware of the current state of the law. But somehow, this 8th Senate appears to thrive in extra-constitutional, extra-judicial, unlawful and tyrannical exercise of power and impunity. This must explain your declaration that the PSG must be disbanded before Senator Omo-Agege can return to the Senate! In other words, to you, for Senator Omo-Agege to represent his people, his constitutional rights of association (in PSG), to hold opinions and to seek legal redress must first be extinguished! This is very dangerous for the Rule of Law and our democracy.”
“THAT we shall resort to SELF- or COLLECTIVE REPRESENTATION by coming physically in our numbers to represent ourselves in the Senate, as our removal, without any constitutional basis, from decision-making in the Senate is a very clear existential threat to us in the Nigerian Nation.”
Meanwhile, Senate president, Bukola Saraki has led his colleagues to the national hospital to visit their colleague, Dino Melaye, who was hospitalised on Tuesday, April 24, after jumping out of a moving police vehicle in bid to escape from the police who was conveying him to Lokoja to face trial.
Premium Times reports that the senators arrived st 1: 29pm in three buses shortly after suspending plenary for the same purpose.
Meanwhile, Saraki said that he had already sent the deputy leader of the Senate to go and visit Melaye at the National Hospital Abuja.
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