The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has dismissed allegations of his conviction by a court in the United States of America, calling those peddling the claims as “mischief-makers”.
He was reacting to an allegation by Coalition of Civil Society and Youth Groups, who on Monday called for his immediate resignation as the Deputy Senate President for allegedly concealing his conviction by a Bar Court of California.
Convener, Coalition of Civil Society and Youth Groups in Nigeria and National Coordinator, Empowerment for Unemployed Youths Initiative, Comrade Solomon Adodo, who addressed newsmen on the development, said the Coalition has available evidence that Omo-Agege was convicted by the State Bar Court of the State of California, Los Angeles, USA in case No. 94-C-14401.
He said Omo-Agege willfully concealed the fact of the said conviction from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Senate thereby contravening the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the Rules of the Senate.
But the Deputy Senate President in his reaction to the allegations through his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr Yomi Odunuga, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, described the allegations as unfounded and handiwork of political jobbers.
Odunaga said: “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.
“On the contrary, an unscrupulous band of mischief-makers at home calling itself a ‘youth group’ purportedly led by one Solomon Adodo is seeking to mislead gullible people with lies and propaganda by calling for the immediate resignation of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, over a spurious and malicious allegation of a conviction by a Californian court.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored this latest effort by political jobbers to drag the name of the Distinguished Senator into disrepute.
“However, in a political environment like ours where silence could be misinterpreted as consent and evidence of guilt, we make haste to dismiss the entire allegation as not only unfounded and illogical; it is the residue of the warped imaginations and misleading rumour peddled without conviction some years back.
“While the distinguished Senator remains completely unperturbed by the nattering nabobs of negativity and their faceless sponsors, it remains clear that this is another feeble round of mere shadow- chasing that ultimately amounts to nothing.
“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 publish herewith details of our response to the same spurious allegation on September 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. We will meet the blackmailer in court.
“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 honourable 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.
“We state, without any equivocation, that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is committed to his mandate and would not be distracted by the antics of disgruntled and defeated politicians hiding behind a so-called ‘youth group’ without any meaningful antecedent, seeking to stir up confusion through mere mischief and without facts.
“Let it be put on record that while his media office has been strictly instructed not to descend into the gutter to play their piggery games of petty mischief, the Senator has nothing to hide and he would continue with his passionate desire and populist dynamism, towards making Nigeria a better nation for future generations,” Odunuga stated.
The Convener of the Coalition, Solomon Adodo, had on the account of the allegations demanded among other things: that Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege should be prevailed upon by the Nigerian Senate to resign from Office and his Senatorial Seat declared vacant.
He added that in the event that Omo-Agege hesitates in resigning from Office, impeachment proceedings should be immediately initiated against him in order to redeem the battered image of the Nigerian Senate.
Adodo further urged the law enforcement Agency to immediately initiate fresh prosecution against Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege for the grievous offence of perjury and denigration of the Nigerian Constitution.
“Let it be known that in the event that immediate actions are not taken within 72 hours of this notice, we shall be left with not other option than to mobilize thousands of Civil Society and Youth Groups to occupy the National Assembly until she is purged of corrupt elements.
“We shall maintain eternal vigilance and remain in defense of the Nigerian Democratic system,” he said.
He was flanked at the news conference by Comrade Danesi Momoh of Guardians of Democracy and Development; Comrade Khalifa Bello Adamu, Partners for Legislative Agenda for Nigeria; Amb. Edwin Olorunfemi of Center for Policy Advocacy and Leadership Development and Mallam Balarabe Musa of Arewa Youth for Peace and Security.