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Indicted for mace theft but endorsed by APC, Omo-Agege emerges Deputy Senate President

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OVIE Omo-Agege, senator-elect representing the Delta State central district and the candidate favoured by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has emerged as the Deputy Senate President, despite allegations of leading hoodlums to steal the house’s mace in 2018.

He was elected and sworn-in on Tuesday at the ninth senate’s inaugural session, after the Senate presidency poll where Ahmed Lawan emerged victorious.

Omo-Agege polled a total of 68 votes, defeating former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who got 39 votes. A total of 107 lawmakers voted.

Ahmed Baba Kaita, a senator-elect, representing Katsina North, has nominated Omo-Agege for the office, and his motion was seconded by Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, senator-elect representing Niger North.“With charity and indeed with gratitude to all, and with malice towards none of my colleagues, with a heart full of humility,” Omo-Agege said in accepting the nomination, “I rise to accept the nomination to serve as the Deputy Senate President of the ninth Senate.

“A couple of minutes ago, we carried out our constitutional functions as provided for in section 50 of the Constitution to elect a Senate President. In the course of that, we’ve elected the president. I stand here today as one who is willing to assist the president we just elected to carry out the obligations of that office.”

Omo-Agege is infamous for leading thugs into the red chamber, and stealing the mace in April 2018. He was arrested by the police in connection to the unlawful action and, in July, a joint ad-hoc committee of the National Assembly recommended that the senator should be suspended for 180 legislative days and prosecuted.

Ekweremadu referred to the incident during his speech as he accepted his nomination.

“There is one point that I must note before I take my seat, and that is the fact that on a fateful day in this chamber, something unusual happened; and that was the day I was presiding here on your mandate,” he said.

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“Some people came into this assembly, passing the first gate, second gate and passed through this entrance, came here and brutalised our staff, and eventually took away our mace. So distinguished colleagues, what we are doing today is appropriately a referendum on that conduct. So, I will like to appeal to our colleagues that this is an opportunity for us to decide what we want.”

Omo-Agege, a lawyer, was executive assistance to the Delta State governor between 2003 and 2005, commissioner on special duties to the state government between 2005 and 2007, secretary to the government in 2007.  He is also the chief executive officer of TechSprings Ltd, a Port-Harcourt-based dredging and oil services corporation.

On the platform of the Labour Party, he was elected a senator in 2015. He however defected to the APC in March 2017.

'Kunle works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or, if you're feeling particularly generous, follow him on Twitter @KunleBajo.

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