The Senator representing Delta Central District in the National Assembly, Movie Omo-Agege, has vowed to resume plenary next week despite the red chamber’s appeal to a High Court’s nullification of his suspension.
Omo-Agege, who stated this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, said his planned resumption was not based on court nullifying his suspension, because he never believed that a legislature could suspend a member.
He said: “Absolutely. I have already told you that I reserve the right to come to sitting anytime. I am coming not because of this judgment but because I have always maintained that they have no right to suspend.
“I did not just take that position. I took that position based on the extant laws which have been pronounced upon by various courts, including the Court of Appeal in Jos concerning the Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly. That is a pronouncement that can be extended to everyone. I did not even need to go to court to seek a re-validation.
“Be that as it may, I reserve the right to show up anytime to attend plenary, to represent my people, and that right of representation cannot be tampered with by anyone irrespective of the provision.”
Omo-Agege pointed out that only his constituents have the power to remove him from the senatorial seat he is currently occupying.
He said, “I am grateful to God and I give God all the glory. I must tell you that this verdict did not come to me as a surprise because I have always known the law. The law is very clear that no legislature has the powers to suspend anybody (member) for one day. That is the position I have always taken. It was on the basis of that understanding that I went to plenary on the 18th of April.
“From day one, I considered this suspension, unlawful and unconstitutional. What the court has just done is to re-validate that position.
“Only my constituents – the Urhobo people – have the right to determine whether or not I can be in the Senate; no one else, no matter how highly placed.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, yesterday said that the lawmakers would discuss Omo-Agege’s matter at the plenary on Tuesday.
He said he could not confirm if the senator could resume or not.
Sabi-Abdullahi said, “There is an appeal against the judgment, according to media reports. But I cannot be speaking for the Senate and reply on what was reported, I must get the facts from the relevant people within the institution.
“Now, I am not in Abuja. I’ve been asked and I said no, until we resume. When we resume on Tuesday, whatever facts are there, we are going to get the facts and we will be able to know what is happening,” he told Punch.