Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Guardians of Democracy and Development; Partners for Legislative Agenda for Nigeria; Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative; and a coalition of civil society and youth groups in Nigeria have challenged the Senate Deputy President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to present court papers absolving him of the allegations of perjury.
The coalition, in a statement yesterday by its Convener, Solomon Adodo, said it has also submitted a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the National Security Adviser; and the Chief of Staff to the President, insisting that it would only rest when the right thing is done.
The groups had earlier called on law enforcement agencies to initiate fresh prosecution against Omo-Agege for the alleged offence of perjury and denigration of the Nigerian Constitution for allegedly concealing his conviction by the State Bar Court of California, Los Angeles in the United States of America (USA).
The groups also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to distance himself from Omo-Agege as the allegations levelled against him were capable of denting his image.
They alleged that Omo-Agege was convicted by the State Bar Court of the State of California, Los Angeles, USA in case No. 94-C-14401, adding that he willfully concealed the fact of the said conviction from the INEC and the Nigerian Senate, thereby contravening the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the Rules of the Senate.
“As true guardians of democracy and firm advocates of transparency in governance, we are deeply perturbed at the fact that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege concealed all these information from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thus he was allowed to participate in the general elections (contrary to constitutional provisions) that produced him as Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District.
“In violation of the Senate Rules, he also concealed the said information from the Nigerian Senate thereby paving the way for his emergence as Deputy President of the Senate. All these have resulted in the denigration of the image and esteem of the Nigerian Senate before the international body of legislators,” the groups alleged.
Omo-Agege in his reaction, faulted the allegations, describing the rights group as a band of unscrupulous mischief makers bent on tarnishing his hard earned reputation.
Omo-Agege, who spoke through his Media Aide, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, claimed he was cleared of all charges in the said case and he was never a convict in the USA as being alleged. He said till date the senate deputy president travels freely to and within the country without any hint of harassment.