Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja with agency report
The Senate last night said it would not stop the senator representing Delta Central, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, from resuming today.
It said having been briefed by its lawyers on last Thursdayâ€™s judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja nullifying its suspension of Omo-Agege, it had resolved not to stop the senator into the chamber.
Last Thursday, a Federal High Court in Abuja had nullified the senatorâ€™s suspension by the Senate.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi, the upper legislative chamber said as an institution that obeys the law and court orders, it had decided that it would comply with the judgment of the Federal High Court and do nothing to stop Omo-Agege from resuming in his office and at plenary from today, pending the determination of the application for stay of execution.
The statement read: â€œThe Senate leadership has been briefed by our lawyers on last Thursdayâ€™s judgment of the Federal High Court, inAbuja, on whether the Senate has the legal authority to suspend a member for certain misconduct or not.
â€œWe have equally filed an appeal against the judgment of the court and a motion for stay of execution of the judgment at the Court of Appeal.
â€œAs an institution that obeys the law and court orders, the Senate has decided that it will comply with the judgment of the Federal High Court and do nothing to stop Omo-Agege from resuming in his office and at plenary from May 15, 2018, pending the determination of the application for stay of execution.
â€œThe Senate has been advised that since the motion for stay of execution of the judgment shall be heard and possibly determined on May 16, 2018, we shall therefore respect the subsisting High Court judgment and await the appellate courtâ€™s decision on the pending motion.â€
Omo-Agege had yesterday said he would attend the Senate sitting today in line with the court order quashing his suspension.
The embattled senator who spoke to journalists when he accompanied the chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Delta State congress committee, to submit his report, said nobody has the right to obstruct his entry into the upper legislative chamber.
Omo-Agege said: â€œThe enrollment of the court order is being served on the Senate as we speak and I believe that it has been served on the Senate. Thereafter, I reserve the right to resume whenever I deem fit.
â€œI donâ€™t expect any resistance because that will have its own consequences. This is a court order and you must understand the basis of the court judgment. The court gave that judgment because it felt that they were contemptuous.â€
Omo-Agege who said he was wrongfully suspended by the upper legislative chamber, defended his position, saying the Senate leadership â€œmust come to equity with clean hands.â€
According to him, â€œMy matter was in court, and not withstanding, they proceeded to purportedly suspend me. It was on that basis that the court exercised its disciplinary power to reverse the suspension and not necessarily on the merit of my case.
â€œNow, I understand that they have gone to court to ask for a stay of that judgment. For those of you who are familiar with the law, that is an equitable relief. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.
â€œ You cannot be in contempt of the court and at the same time ask the court to grant you an equitable relief of stay. In any case, it is a declaratory judgment which is not stayable in law, and the judge said with immediate effect.
â€œSo I donâ€™t need any other action to take my seat. So, to answer your question, I will show up any time I deem fit.
â€œThere is no reason why I should not show up tomorrow (today). More likely, I will be in the Senate tomorrow (today),â€ he said.