- Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has said he would not answer any questions from the Senate investigative panel on the recent mace theft
- The senator told the panel told that he has filed a court order restraining the public hearing on the matter
- He said commenting on the matter or proceeding would only amount to subjudice
The senator representing Delta Central senatorial district has said he would not answer questions thrown at him by an investigative panel set up by the Nigerian Senate on the alleged mace theft.
During a session of joint House of Representatives and Senate panel, Ovie Omo-Agege, said he would not answer questions because the matter was already in court.
Premium Times reports that Omo-Agege told the committee that he has filed a court order restraining the public hearing on the matter. He said any comment from on the subject would only amount to subjudice.
The Delta senator's response followed inquiry made by the chairman of the committee, Bala Ibn Na’Allah.
Na'Allah had challenged Omo-Agege on the court order he was referring to. He also told Omo-Agege the hearing can proceed because he had not being served or has any knowledge of a pending suit against him.
“Does that mean that if someone is not happy with the budget, he can go to court. The issue is none of us here who has been allegedly put on that court order had been served,” Na'Allah said.
But citing order 3(5) of the Senate standing, Omo-Agege said the order restricts the Senate from probing a case that is already in court.
The chairman of the committee probing further said he has the authority to decide whether the matter will amount to subjudice or not. “This is not a proper authority to rely on. You are taking my role as chairman. I have the right to decide whether an issue will be subjudice," Na'Allah added.
In addition to the matter before the panel, the deputy chairman of the committee, Betty Apiafi, urged Omo-Agege to respond to the inquiries by the National Assembly.
Apiafi said: “The constitution does not give legal rights to stop our processes" to a defiant Omo-Agege.
Furthermore, Na'Allah in his ruling said there is nothing legally preventing the panel from continuing with its proceeding.
Replying, Omo-Agege said: “I want to state one more time that in respect to the summons, I appeared today. But I have decided because I have a pending action in court, which action was commenced yesterday.
“All of the parties I named have been duly served and I have a proof of Service. As a consequence of this, I have decided that i will wait until the outcome of this before I give any testimony."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the panel investigating the invasion of National Assembly by thugs had summoned Senators Ali Ndume and Ovie Omo-Agege for questioning.
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The two senators were invited to explain their role in the attack launched on the Senate by hoodlums who stole the mace.
Omo-Agege had also said that although he would appear before the panel, he has dragged the committee to court, restraining it from summoning him against the backdrop that he had no confidence in the chairman of the committee.
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