An FCT High Court in Bwari yesterday dismissed a suit seeking an order
to remove Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta) from
office over allegation of perjury. Justice Othman Musa, declared that
Omo-Agege was not a convict and had not been convicted in any court in
California, USA and the said charge was dismissed by the superior court
in the US state and that the purported suspension meted on Omo-Agege by
the State Bar in California does not amount to conviction.
The suit was instituted by the Incorporated Trustees of Patriotic Youth Organization of Nigeria and had Omo-Agege, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission as respondents. Justice Musa dismissed all the reliefs sought by the claimant and awarded a cost of N1m in favour of Omo-Agege.
He held that Omo-Agege was not under any obligation to affirm in his INEC’s Form CF001 that he has been under a sentence of imprisonment or conviction for offence involving dishonesty and/or fraud since he (Omo-Agege) has not been.
The judge further held that from a judgment of the California court delivered on March 12, 1996, exhibited by Omo-Agege, it could be seen that the charge was dismissed. “Dismissing the charge against the 1st defendant does not mean conviction. The 1st defendant has not been found guilty and has not been convicted,” he added.
He held that the disciplinary proceedings involving Omo-Agege in the State of California in the US, even if it ended in punitive action against him, could not be elevated to criminal proceedings, conviction and sentencing as provided under Section 66 (1) and (2) of the Nigerian Constitution.