Senate’s appeal can’t stop my from resuming my office at the Senate, says Omo-Agege

Senate’s appeal can’t stop my from resuming my office at the Senate, says Omo-Agege
Chris Steven, Abuja

Ovie Omo-Agege, suspended senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly says that the appeal filed by the Senate against the Federal High Court’s judgment nullifying his suspension will not stop him from resuming his legislative duties.

Omo-Agege said the Senate and its President, Bukola Saraki, have only applied for a stay of execution at the Court of Appeal which has not been granted.

Last week, the senate announced it filed a notice of appeal and a stay of execution on a High Court judgement nullifying his suspension.

Olu Onemola, an aide to the Saraki, made this known Thursday evening.

A stay of execution is a court order to temporarily suspend the execution of a court judgement or another court order.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court gave the ruling nullifying the suspension on Thursday.

 Dimgba said the Senate’s decision regarding the suspension, as well as the pattern adopted by the National Assembly, was constitutionally defective, noting that the Senate has no power to suspend a senator for more than 14 days.

Omo-Agege was suspended for 90 days by the Senate after he accused his colleagues of working against President Muhammadu Buhari by amending the Electoral Act.

Though the Senate said the suspension was not because of his comments on the election re-order but for his move of approaching the court over the matter, Omo-Agege pointed out that the lower court made a declaratory judgment which had an immediate effect.

According to him, the Senate President is only seeking the relief for a stay of execution from a court of law which he had allegedly ignored and gone ahead to approve his suspension.

But he noted that the appeal would not stop his resumption.

“The judgment that was delivered by the court says that the court was nullifying my suspension ‘with immediate effect.’ If they go ahead and apply for a stay of execution, no court has granted them that. Until that stay is granted, the ‘nullification’ is with immediate effect. They have applied to have a stay but that stay has not been granted.

“Two, the order of the court is a declaratory order. A declaratory order is not ‘ stayable’ in law. The order that the court made, nullifying my suspension with immediate effect, is a declaratory order and it is not stayable ‘ in law. In any event that they apply for a stay, unless and until the court grants that stay, the judgement of the lower court is to take an immediate effect.

“Three, the Senate President is in contempt of court because my action was pending in court but he showed a total disregard for the court and proceeded to suspend me while my case was in court. That by itself is contempt. The relief he is seeking from the court now – stay of execution – is an equitable relief. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. You cannot be in contempt of the court and ask the same court to grant you an equitable relief. His hands in law are soiled and dirty. Therefore, he is not entitled to an equitable relief in court,” he said.