According to a report by New Telegraph, as the Senate prepares to legally fence-out its suspended member, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC/Delta Central) from returning to the red chamber, there are strong indications that the embattled legislator may launch a fresh invasion of the National Assembly today to forcefully reclaim his seat.
A crowd of supposed supporters of the embattled lawmaker is expected to picket the gates of the National Assembly today to demand his recall. Ahead of the expected resumption of Omo-Agege, security was yesterday beefed up at the National Assembly, Abuja.
The suspended senator yesterday vowed to resume plenary today. The Senate had on April 12 suspended Omo-Agege for 90 legislative days for accusing his colleagues of amending the Electoral Act 2014 purposely to frustrate President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.
The lawmaker made the allegation following the adoption of the Conference Report on the Electoral Act, which proposed a reordering of the sequence of the general elections in the country.
Barely a week after the suspension, Omo-Agege forced his way back to his seat, allegedly with the aid of some hoodlums who invaded the red chamber and took away the mace, the symbol of legislative authority.
The police had, last week, blamed the invasion of the Senate chamber on perceived connivance among some unnamed political actors in the parliament.
Omo-Agege is the scribe of the banned Parliamentary Support Group for Buhari (PSGB), a group of legislators drumming support for President Buhari’s second term ambition.
New Telegraph reports that Omo-Agege will be returning to the Senate today with a motley crowd of supporters while the PSGB will be on hand to receive him.
A source who spoke to New Telegraph on the condition of anonymity said much of the crowd would be imported from Delta State. According to a source, a convoy of buses conveying about 150 youths left Asaba, Delta State, for Abuja yesterday, for the planned protest in support of Omo-Agege’s return to the National Assembly.
The planned protest would revolve around the need to enforce the court ruling declaring the suspension of Omo-Agege as illegal. Omo-Agege yesterday vowed to resume at the Senate today.
Speaking with journalists at the All Progressives Congress (APC) national headquarters in Abuja yesterday, the senator said: “The enrolment of the court order is being served on the Senate as we speak and I believe that it has been served on the Senate.
Thereafter, I reserve the right to resume whenever I deem fit. “I don’t expect any resistance because that will have its own consequences. “This is a court order and you must understand the basis of the court judgement.
The court rendered that judgement because it felt that they were contemptuous. My matter was in court and, notwithstanding, they proceeded to purportedly suspend me. It was on that basis that the court exercised its power to reverse the suspension and not necessarily on the merit of my case. “Now, I understand that they have gone to court to ask for a stay of that judgement. For those of you who are familiar with the law, that is an equitable relief. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands
.You cannot be in contempt of the court and at the same time ask the court to grant you an equitable relief of stay. In any case, it is a declaratory judgement, which is not stayable in law and the judge said with immediate effect. “So, I don’t need any other action to take my seat. So, to answer your question, I will show up any time I deem fit.
There is no reason why I should not show up tomorrow (today). More likely, I will be in the Senate on Tuesday.”
Strengthening of security arrangement at the complex, especially around the Senate Chambers is to forestall likely security breach as recorded on April 18, when some hoodlums stormed the chambers and made away with the Mace.
The incident which occurred while plenary was ongoing in the chambers was linked to Omo-Agege, who defied the suspension order on him and attended the proceedings, accompanied by some strange fellows into the chamber.
Apart from full security detail in the chamber of the red chamber on Monday, police officers were seen at the lobby leading into the chamber, a development that is unusual on a non-sitting day. Sergeants-at-Arms were also seen in clusters discussing in hush tones, and apparently perfecting the security beef-up.
Some staff of the assembly, who pleaded anonymity, said that the development was not unconnected with the expected return of Omo- Agege to the chamber on today after the court judgement in his favour.
They confirmed that the move to check likely breakdown of law and order as experienced when the mace was forcefully taken away. The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had, last Thursday, voided the suspension of Omo-Agege by the Senate.
The court, in a judgement delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, held that the reason the Senate adduced for suspending Omo-Agege for 90 legislative days, was unconstitutional. The court further noted that the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the Senate recommended that Omo- Agege should be suspended to punish him for instituting legal action against the legislative house.
The court held that while the Senate has the powers to sanction its erring members to protect its integrity, no institution or authority has the powers to strip any citizen his right of access to the court. Justice Dimgba further noted that whereas sections 67(4) of the Senate Standing Rules 2014 and section 21(2) of the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act, okayed the suspension of any erring lawmakers for 14 legislative days, the Senate went ahead and handed Omo-Agege 90-day suspension.
“The suspension of the plaintiff for 90 days is ultravires of powers of the 1st defendant (Senate). Any suspension of member of the Senate that exceeds 14 days is null and void and unconstitutional,” the court held.
The court ordered the Senate to recall the plaintiff immediately and equally pay him any salary or allowance that accrued to him within the period he was illegally suspended.
Omo-Agege had, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/314/2018, prayed the court to quash his suspension and declare that he was illegally barred from attending plenary at the Senate. However, the Senate reportedly appealed the ruling of the court and applied for a stay of execution of the order to recall the legislator. The appeal has been slated for consideration tomorrow.
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Welcome the next set of MTN Scholars!
360 young Nigerians receive scholarships from MTN Foundation
MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 360 university students at a virtual ceremony on November 12, 2020. The scholarships were awarded under the MTNF scholarship schemes made up of the MTNF Science & Technology Scholarship (STSS) and Scholarship for the Blind Students (SBSS). In attendance were the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, represented by the Technical Assistant, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi; Honourable Minister of Science & Technology represented by the Acting Director-General of the National Space Research and
Development Agency, Dr. Francis Chizea; former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson amongst other notable dignitaries.
Speaking at the ceremony, the representative of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi said: “We are here with the MTN Foundation to celebrate scholars that have excelled in school. MTN is also supporting people with disabilities by funding their education and this is very commendable. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is constantly working towards elevating skills over degrees. We are also committed to ensuring that individuals are empowered with the right tools and skills.”
Also speaking, Honourable Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu represented by Dr. Francis Chizea said: “I am glad that MTN, in giving back to the society through its foundation, set up a scholarship scheme to empower the youths and as well, drive science and technology. This is a welcome development and a commendable effort that other organizations need to emulate.”
A major highlight of the ceremony was a fireside chat themed “Insight. Influence. Impact” with thought leaders sharing inspiring insights with the scholars. Nigeria’s former Minister for Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson reiterated the role MTN continues to play in the ICT space and its impact on the country. “We need to get a workforce that is very comfortable with technology. We are in a state where we need world-class educational institutions and interventions such as this that will enable students to be very vast in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Johnson said.
Leading to the ceremony, this year’s graduating students from the scholarship programme were hosted to a career incubation boot camp facilitated by experts from Google, Oracle, Cisco and Jobberman. Facilitators shared insights on various opportunities amongst other vital employability tips.
Speaking on the scholarship award ceremony and workshop for graduands, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said, “Providing access to quality education is the first step to a world of opportunity for the youth of our nation. We know it does not stop there. We need to also ensure that they are adequately prepared for the
workplace. We hope that the fireside chat at the award ceremony will inspire the students to reach for greatness and innovation. Furthermore, it is our belief that the employability workshop held earlier will enrich the career path of the graduating students. The MTNF scholarship scheme is more than just funds; it is a commitment to
build the capacity of our youth. We wish all our graduating scholars success as they set out to take on the world and congratulate all awardees as the next set of young nation builders in the making.”
The newly awarded scholars will each enjoy a scholarship grant worth N200,000 annually till graduation as long as they maintain a CGPA of 3.5 or its equivalent. The scholarship covers tuition, book allowance and stipend. Till date, MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 3,829 students valued at over NGN 2.1Billion.
The MTNF annual scholarships are awarded to high performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.
Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt
Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.
An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.
According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.
The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.
Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.
He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.
He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.
Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin
The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.
They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.
The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.
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