The Coalition of Civil Society and Youth Groups in Nigeria (CCSYGN) has threatened to occupy the National Assembly (NASS) over what it described as “concealing of his conviction in U.S.” by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
The group gave the threat in Abuja following allegations that Sen. Omo-Agege concealed his conviction by the State Bar Court of California, Los Angeles, U.S., and went ahead to contest and occupy an exalted position in NASS.
Convener of the forum Mr Solomon Adodo who spoke on behalf of other CSOs, said that Omo-Agege should be prevailed upon by the Nigerian Senate to resign from office and his senatorial seat declared vacant.
Adodo who is also the President, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), urged law enforcement Agencies to immediately initiate fresh prosecution against Omo-Agege for the grievous offence of perjury and denigration of the Nigerian Constitution.
“Our scrupulous findings reveal that one Augustine O. Omo-Agege was admitted into the State Bar of California on Dec. 14, 1992.
“The records reveal that on or about March 7, 1993 the said Augustine O. Omo-Agege was alleged to have committed the crime of perjury-application for Driver’s license in the County of Los Angeles in violation of Penal code section 118, a felony.
“Following a lengthy prosecution of the said allegations levelled against Augustine O. Omo-Agege, he was convicted of violating California Penal code section 470 and was also subsequently suspended from the practice of law pending final disposition of the proceeding.
“Furthermore, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege willfully concealed the fact of the said conviction from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Senate, thereby contravening provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and Rules of the Senate.
“As true Guardians of Democracy and firm advocates of transparency in governance, we are deeply perturbed that the senator concealed these information from INEC and was allowed to participate in the general elections where he emerged as a senator.
“In violation of the senate rules he also concealed the said information from the Nigerian Senate thereby paving the way for his emergence as Deputy President of the Senate,” Adodo said.
He noted that the action of the senator had resulted in the denigration of the image and esteem of the Nigerian Senate before the international body of legislators.
Adodo further noted that the deputy senate president can not confidently and freely lead a team of legislators to Capitol Hill for any meeting with the US Senate owing to the weight of conviction against him in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Yomi Odunuga, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Deputy President of the Senate described the allegation as baseless.
Odunuga in his response said the allegation as “another feeble round of mere shadow- chasing that ultimately amounts to nothing”.
He said: “For the umpteenth time, we would like to reiterate the fact that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was cleared of all charges in the said case and he was never a convict in the USA as being alleged.
“Till date, he travels freely to and within the country without any hint of harassment; we will meet the blackmailer in court.
“We publish herewith details of our response to the same spurious allegation on Sept. 25, 2018: “To this extent, by way of ‘fair commentary’ only, we will speak to the non-existent criminal conviction knowing that the matter is now in court and therefore subjudice.
“The fact is, at a point in his brilliant and bright legal career in California, USA, Senator Omo-Agege (then a young attorney) was alleged to have broken the law in California but in the end, he was found not guilty.
“Accordingly, he was declared innocent by the honourables Lance A. Ito (who presided over the popular O.J. Simpson murder trial case) and G. Magnera of the Court of California, County of Los Angeles.
“Omo-Agege had to fight hard for his innocence and God vindicated him against the expectations of evil men like the most sadistic blackmailer in the world.
“Today, he remains an active member in good standing at the State of California Bar Association – an impossibility if a valid and subsisting conviction were hanging on him; these are verifiable public facts and truths.”