By Lawrence Audu
Following yesterday’s suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege by the Senate, members of the Urhobo ethnic group in Delta State have sued the Nigerian Senate for they described as the deprivation of the rights of their people.
Reacting to the suspension, the plaintiff, Alfred Okaka, Chris Agaga, Kingsley Okrikpo, Harrison Akpojarho, Manny Edu, Lyndon Ugbome, Moses Adegor and Godspower Emowhomuere, are asking the court to declare that the said suspension will amount to a deprivation of the rights of their people from due representation in the Senate.
They have approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to demand the retraction of Mr Omo-Agege’s suspension with the opinion that the tenure of the senator: “cannot be abridged, diminuted, suspended, abrogated and or vitiated, except as stipulated by the 1999 Constitution (as amended.)”.
Mr. Omo-Agege, who represents Delta Central, was suspended after a lengthy deliberation on the floor of the Senate on Thursday over his reaction to the Senate’s intended amendment of section 25 of the Electoral act.
The act seeks among other things, to put the date for the presidential election after those of the legislators and state governors, respectively.
During a discussion on the proposed electoral act in February, Mr Omo-Agege described the proposed amendment as a plot against the President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr. Omo-Agege condemned the adoption of the bill at the House of Representatives stressing that only 36 out of 360 members of the house were present when the bill was read at the lower chamber.
The defendants in the suit are: Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the Senate, Clerk of the Senate, the Department of State Services, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Inspector- General of Police and Senator Omo-Agege.
In the same vein, a human rights lawyer, Frank Tietie condemned the suspension of Mr Omo-Agege and threatened legal action if the Senate fails to revoke the suspension.