The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday fixed May 10, 2018 for its judgment in the suit filed by Senator Ovie Omo- Agege (APC, Delta Central) who is challenging his 90 days suspension from the Senate.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba reserved the judgment after lawyers to Omo-Agege, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), that of Senate and Senate President, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), and the Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata who represented the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), adopted their addresses while canvassing the merits of their arguments.
At the hearing of the matter on Monday before the parties adopted their addresses, Justice Dimgba dismissed an application filed by the Chairman , Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and the Vice – Chairman of the Committee, Senator Bala Ibi- Nallah who wanted to be joined as co- defendants to the suit.
The judge said that their application which was argued by Paul Erokoro (SAN) was incompetent.
Justice Dimgba said, “Having considered the principles governing joinder of parties, I don’t believe that there is any contribution the parties seeking to be joined who are agent can not pass to the principal- the Senate.”
He said that if the committee Chairman and vice chairman were allowed to be joined, it would open flood gate for other Senators who are members of the Committee to seek to be joined.
“Beside, the fact that this application is incompetent, the reason given by the counsel for not filing their defence along with their application is unreasonable.
The judge agreed with the plaintiff’s lawyer that the Senators are agent of the Senate in the instant suit ,therefore they are unnecessary parties.
Justice Dimgba said that as a matter of fact, the court ought to have hear the suit Thursday last week . “I hereby dismissed the application.”
Senators Anyanwu and Ibi-Allah are Chairman and Vice – Chairman of the Ethic and Privileges Committee that recommended the suspension of Senator Omo- Agege for 180 days before it was reduced to 90 days by the President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Adopting his client’s written address, Dr. Izinyon (SAN) urged the court to give an order restraining the defendants and their agents from interfering with Omo-Agege’s rights and privileges as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or
preventing him from entering or remaining within the prescient or Chamber of the Senate or National Assembly or attempting to forcibly remove him from the Chamber of the National Assembly or undermining the senator’s ability to function as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The AGF, who was represented by Apata, aligned himself with Izinyon’s submissions and stated that the AGF is a defendant of the 1999 Constitution. He said that the action of the Senate which led to the suspension of Omo- Agege are unlawful and unconstitutional.
Lawyer to the defendants, Magaji SAN on his part, urged the court to dismiss the suit. He said that Omo- Agege was not an ordinary member of Senate , he is a lawyer and member of the Senate Ethics and Privileges Committee.
Magaji said, “He Omo- Agege took oath to obey the very rules he want the court to declare void. Besides, he had in the past participated in the suspension of other erring members of the Senate.”