By Yemi Itodo
The Senator representing Delta Central in the 8th National Assembly,
Senator Ovie Omo-agege has been suspended for 90 legislative days, for inciting the Presidency against the National Assembly.
Reading the recommendations of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on Thursday, the committee Chairman, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, said the committee recommended a 181-day suspension for Omo-agege over his utterances that, the move to amend the election sequence was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.
Anyanwu said, the action of the lawmaker and his subsequent press briefing after making open apology to the Senate, was an act of insubordination and capable of inciting the Presidency against the Senate.
The committee also frowned at the suit instituted against the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki and the 8th Senate by Omo-agege at the federal high court, saying, it was against the standing rules of the parliament.
The Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, however, objected to the recommendation that Omo-agege be suspended. Rather, he was of the opinion that the case in court be withdrawn and the pro – Buhari group in the senate known as ‘Parliamentary Support Group for President Buhari’ where Omo-agege is the Secretary, be disbanded, saying it was a divisive group.
In their separate contributions, the deputy Senate Leader, Ibn Na’Allah and the Senator representing Zamfara Central, Senator Kabir Marafa, said the institution of the National Assembly must be respected and that, disciplinary action must be taken against the erring lawmaker, to serve as a deterrent to others.
It took the intervention of the Senate President, Saraki, who presided over Thursday’s plenary, to reduce the suspension to 90 legislative days, with the clause that, the presidential support group be disbanded and the case against the Senate be withdrawn.
It could be recalled that, the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, through order 42 of the Senate standing rules, drew the attention of the Senate to a statement credited to Senator Omo-agege shortly after the chamber passed the conference committee report on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill in February.
The matter was referred to the standing committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions which subsequently interfaced with Omo-agege.
Though the Senator initially tendered open apology at the plenary, he, however, changed his mind by dragging the Senate to court.