The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Monday told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the suspension of the Delta Central Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, by the Senate, was illegal and unconstitutional.
This was part of the AGF’s submissions, which he made on Monday at the court’s hearing of the suit filed by Omo-Agege to challenge his suspension by the Senate for 90 legislative days.
But the Senate and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, represented by their lawyer, Mr. Mahmud Magaji (SAN), justified the senator’s suspension.
Magaji argued that Omo-Agege, being a member of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which recommended the suspension, must not be allowed to go without serving his punishment.
“Those who live by the sword must die by the sword,” Magaji said.
While taking his turn to make his submissions after Magaji, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, who represented the AGF, urged the court to nullify Omo-Agege’s suspension by the Senate.
He said, “By virtue of Section 150 of the Constitution, the Attorney-General of the Federation is the protector of the Constitution and other Nigerian laws.
“He is bound by the Constitution to react to constitutional questions.
“He is saying that all the steps leading to the suspension of the plaintiff in this matter are unconstitutional and lawful. And we urge the court to so hold.”
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba fixed May 10 for judgment to determine the legality and validity of the senator’s suspension.
He fixed the date for judgment after all the parties to the suit addressed him on Monday.
The Senate had, on April 13, suspended the senator for 90 legislative days over his comment that the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 seeking the re-ordering of the general elections was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.
Incidentally, Omo-Agege had filed his suit earlier before he was suspended by the Senate.