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Published On: Thu, Jan 30th, 2020

Alleged US Conviction: Court dismisses suit seeking removal Omo-Agege

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By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The Bwari division of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, yesterday, dismissed a suit seeking the removal of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege from office.
The Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District was brought before justice Othman Musa by the Incorporated Trustees of Patriotic Youth Organization of Nigeria.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the Independent National Electoral Commission were mentioned as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively.
Delivering judgement in the suit, Justice Musa dismissed all the reliefs sought by the claimant.
The court held that Omo-Agege (1st defendant) was not under any obligation to inform INEC (3rd defendant) in his INEC Forms CF001 relating to whether he has been under a sentence of imprisonment or conviction for offence involving dishonesty and/or fraud by his deliberate failure to disclose that he was/is under a sentence of imprisonment or conviction for criminal offence of felony involving moral turpitude by violating Section 470 of the California Penal Code under the authority of subsection (a) Rule 951, of the California Rules of Court in the United States of America in Case No: 94:C:14401?
Justice Musa observed from a judgment of the California court delivered on March 12, 1996, exhibited by Omo-Agege, that the charge was dismissed, pointing out that “it does not mean conviction.
“Dismissing the charge against the 1st defendant does not mean conviction. The 1st defendant has not been found guilty and has not been convicted, the court held.
Justice Musa said the report of judicial commission of enquiry against the 1st defendant “Is not the same as an order of court of law.
The court opined that a report of judicial commission of enquiry only enables a court of law to ascertain the culpability or otherwise of a public officer where a case of professional misconduct is alleged.
Consequently, the court from affidavit evidence tendered by the 1st defendant, held that Omo-Agege has not been convicted by any competent court of law.
The court insisted that the order of a Californian court did not amount to an indictment on the part of Omo-Agege.
Having dismissed all the reliefs sought by the claimant, Justice Musa awarded a cost of N1 million against the claimant, in favour of the 1st defendant.

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