A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Youth Groups in the country have challenged the Deputy President of Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege to present Court papers that absolved him of allegation of perjury in the U.S.
The coalition comprising of the Guardians of Democracy and Development (GODD), Partners for Legislative Agenda for Nigeria (PLAN), Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative made the demand in Abuja on Wednesday in a statement signed by Mr Solomon Adodo, Convener of the forum.
It would be recalled that the CSOs had earlier called on law enforcement agencies to initiate fresh prosecution against Omo-Agege for the grievous offence of perjury and denigration of the Nigerian Constitution for allegedly concealing his conviction by the state bar court of California, Los Angeles , United States of America (USA).
They had also, in addition to the National Assembly and security agencies, submitted a petition to the president, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Security Adviser and the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari.
The group urged the president to distance himself from Sen. Omo Agege as the allegations leveled against him were capable of denting his image.
The coalition insisted that available evidence at its disposal showed that Omo-Agege was convicted by The State Bar Court of the State of California, Los Angeles, USA in case No. 94-C-14401, adding that he willfully concealed the fact of the said conviction from INEC and the Senate.
This, the group stated contravened the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the Rules of the Senate.
The group had claimed that sometime in April 22, 1996, one Augustine O. Omo-Agege believed to be the same Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege was ordered to be suspended from the practice of Law following his conviction for violating California Penal Code section 470, a felony criminal offense involving moral turpitude, under the authority of subdivision (a) of rule 951, California Rules of Court.
“Furthermore, 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.
“As true Guardians of Democracy and firm advocates of transparency in governance, we are deeply perturbed at the fact that Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege concealed all these information from INEC, thus he was allowed to participate in the general elections (contrary to Constitutional provisions) that produced him as Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District.
“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.
“Let it be noted that all of these crimes alleged to have been committed by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege cannot be wished away and the Senate will only be playing the Ostrich by not taking the necessary actions against the ethical misconduct of this prominent legislator.”
Omo -Agege had earlier faulted the allegation describing it as an attempt by mischief makers to tarnish his hard earned reputation.
The Deputy President of the Senate who spoke through his Media Aide, Mr Yomi Odunuga, claimed that he was cleared of all charges in the said case and that he was never a convict in the U.S., as being alleged.
He stated: “Over the past few days, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege visited the United States of America and Canada for personal and official reasons respectively, holding aloft the beacon of progressive ideology and an agenda for improving Nigeria’s image internationally.”