By Wale Akinola
Contrary to belief in some quarters that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was suspended over his opposition to the election reordering bill, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said the senator representing Delta Central was sanctioned for taking the Senate to court.
Taking the Senate to court, according to Saraki, smacks of gross indiscipline, which should not be condoned by the upper chamber.
Omo-Agege, who was billed to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions over his comments on the amendment of Electoral Act, 2018, had sued the Senate in a bid to stop his appearance.
Saraki said he was particularly displeased with the Delta senator for taking an internal matter of the Senate to court. He harped on the importance of preserving the institution of the Senate and National Assembly as a whole.
Saraki maintained that any issue bordering on the sanctity of the Senate must be dealt with in compliance with the rules of the institution.
Omo-Agege had been suspended for 90 legislative days on Thursday, April 12. Although Saraki said during the plenary that it was regrettable that the Senate was constrained to take such decisive action of suspending one of its members, the Senate President spoke against the way Omo-Agege and some other senators had been conducting the activities of the Parliamentary Support Group for President Buhari.
Saraki lamented that the group truly lacked sincerity as displayed already in its actions and inaction and posited that he was actually the right person to be the chairman of such group in the National Assembly.
Saraki added that the formation and chairmanship of the group were done and intended to present some senators in a good light as well as portraying others in bad light.
He said: “Distinguished Colleagues, a number of points have been raised. One borders on the issue of preserving the integrity of this institution. To me, that is what I think is the most important thing for us”.
“Distinguished Colleagues I hope we will not have to come to these sorts of situations again at this point in this democratic process. We can cue on this and move forward,” said Saraki.
Dr. Bukola Saraki again expressed his utter displeasure with the conduct of some senators in their bid to achieve their ulterior motives thus:
“Sometimes some people decide to act like they are holier than thou or more committed – at the expense of others. This is not something that we should tolerate, and I believe that in an institution like this we must show discipline, but at the same time we must also show compassion”.
Meanwhile, Senator Saraki made it known that the duration of Senator Omo-Agege’s suspension as recommended by the Ethics Committee had been amended and reduced to 90 legislative days out of compassion.
He therefore stated in clear terms that activities of the Parliamentary Support Group must be suspended forthwith and the case in court must be withdrawn.