The Senate has directed security agencies to prevent the suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege from further gaining entrance into its chamber.
Omo-Agege, who was last week suspended by the Senate for dragging the upper legislative chamber to court on the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010, had attended plenary on Wednesday. He was, however, absent on Thursday.
The lawmaker’s emergence at the chamber had occurred same time when suspected thugs invaded the Senate chamber while plenary was ongoing and made away with the mace.
Saturday PUNCH reports that the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, who spoke to one of its correspondents, disclosed that the sergeants-at-arm and security personnel had been ordered to block the lawmaker whenever he tries to enter the chamber.
When reminded that Omo-Agege was at the chamber for Wednesday’s plenary, Murray-Bruce said the lawmaker was prevented from entering the chamber on Wednesday but that the embattled legislator allegedly forced his way in.
He said, “What kind of question is that? He brought thugs and the thugs broke the door down, broke the leg of one of our staff (members) and forced himself in. We didn’t let him in. He broke in and the thugs led him into the chamber. How can you ask why we let him in? We were not supposed to fight with him. We are no children.”
“He was not there the next day because we told the police that he was not allowed in. We have informed them officially that he is suspended. But that day, we didn’t let him in. He was stopped from going in, but the thugs beat up our staff (sergeants-at-arm) and broke the door down; that was how he got in.”
Murray-Bruce was also informed that Omo-Agege had dismissed his suspension as illegal and that he would continue to participate in legislative activities.
The Senate’s spokesman said, “The law enforcement officials have been informed about that already.”
Omo-Agege had exclusively told The PUNCH on Wednesday that he would continue to work as a senator.
He had said, “What happened is this: the jurisprudence in this area is very settled. The Court of Appeal in the Bauchi State House of Assembly’s case, the Dino Melaye’s case in the House of Representatives and the Ali Ndume’s case in the Senate; the courts made it clear and settled the issue, that a legislative house cannot suspend a member even for a day.
“That is the law and it has not been set aside. And this kind of judgment is for everybody. Even though I was not a party in those cases, the pronouncements are for the benefit of everybody. It is only the reliefs that are personal to those who went to court. Therefore, you don’t have to go to court to re-litigate these issues.
“If the issue was settled, it means that whatever suspension they issued is illegal, null and void. That is why I said I would go to work. I went in and took my seat.”
The lawmaker had also denied having a link with the gunmen who carted away the mace in the Senate chamber.
“All the talk about mace, what is my business with it? I don’t know where that came from,” Omo-Agege stated.
Again on Thursday, the senator insisted on his earlier positions when he spoke to our correspondent.
“It (his absence on Thursday) was deliberate but I have resumed. Like you rightly reported, I was never arrested; I was only taken away for security reason, from being mobbed. As far as I am concerned, I am not suspended. The purported suspension is illegal, null and void.”
Denying the allegation that he led the attackers into the chamber, Omo-Agege had said, “That is arrant nonsense. I never did anything like that. I don’t even know who they are. Beyond that, I won’t say anything. I came on my own and I left on my own.”