A group, Incorporated Trustees of Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to order the withdrawal of Certificate of Return issued to Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
In a suit filed through their lawyer, Mr Edward Omaga, the group also prayed the court for N500m damages to be slammed on Clerk of the Senate for accepting to declare Omo-Agege as Deputy Senate President after his nomination and election on June 11, 2019.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/510/2020, the plaintiff said the lawmaker representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly was not a competent, fit and proper person considering the alleged conviction hanging on his neck by a court in Los Angeles, California, United States on November 30, 1995.
In the judgment of the US court, the senator was allegedly sentenced to jail and suspended from law practice for two years for felony involving moral turpitude, forgery of cheques amounting to $890with which he intended to defraud the Bank of America.
Apart from Omo-Agege, also joined as defendants in the suit are the Clerk of the National Assembly, the All Progressives Congress and Independent National Electoral Commission.
In the affidavit in support of the originating summons deposed to by Comrade Solomon Adodo, a rights activist, the group also prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Omo-Agege from representing Delta Central Senatorial District or such other similar offices in the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the ground that he is not competent, fit and proper person considering the conviction hanging on his neck in the US court.
In a report on January 20, 2020, SaharaReporters had revealed how Omo-Agege was suspended from practicing law in California, United States, over a case of forgery and fraud.
The document revealed that Omo-Agege committed the offence in 1995, was found guilty and suspended from practicing for two years.
He was also placed on probation and mandated to take a multi-state professional responsibility examination before being admitted back to the US bar, according to the court document seen.
After being arrested, a four-count amended charge was filed against Omo-Agege in the Los Angeles County Superior Court with Case number BA111331.
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After his conviction, the Delta State-born lawyer returned to Nigeria where he soon delved into politics.
To have a smooth sail, he removed Augustine from his name and adopted his middle name, Ovie, perhaps in order to avoid any sort of linkage to his criminal past in California.
Having served as a commissioner under the administration of former Delta State governor, James Ibori, who was jailed in the United Kingdom for stealing huge sums belonging to the state, Omo-Agege rose politically, emerging Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate on June 11, 2019 after defeating Ike Ekweremadu, who held the position at the time.
But before then on April 18, 2018, he was arrested by the police in Abuja for leading armed thugs to snatch and seize the mace of the Senate.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit by the youth group.