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A federal high court in Abuja has nullified “with immediate effect” the suspension of Ovie Omo-Agege, the senator representing Delta Central District, describing it as unconstitutional.
Though none of the seven prayers sought by Omo-Agege was granted, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on Thursday held that the assembly did not adhere to the due process of the law in suspending the senator for 90 legislative days.
While the National Assembly had the power to discipline its erring members, he said, the premise on which the senator’s suspension was grounded was illegal.
He ruled that the action of the senate suspending Omo-Agege was carried out while the matter was pending before the court. He noted that the senator was punished for filing a suit against the Senate after apologising to the legislative house over the allegation leveled against him.
“Access to court is a fundamental right in the Constitution, which cannot be taken away by force or intimidation from any organ,” Dimgba ruled.
He added that the senate could only have suspended Omo-Agege for a period of 14 days as provided for in the senate rules even if the basis for the suspension was flawless.
He ordered that the senator be paid all his allowances and salaries for the period during which he was illegally suspended.
Omo-Agege, it would be recalled, was suspended on Thursday, April 12, for asserting that the Electoral Act amendment by the Senate was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.