Saraki heeds court’s warning, pays Omo-Agege’s entitlements
The Delta-Central senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, has been paid all his entitlements that accrued from his illegal suspension by the Senate earlier in the year.
The development, on Thursday, put an end to the contempt proceedings initiated by Omo-Agege against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Omo-Agege’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), informed Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on Thursday that his client was paid on October 12, 2018, barely 24 hours after the court warned Saraki to either pay the judgment debt or appear in court to face the contempt proceedings.
Justice Dimgba issued the warning on October 11, 2018 after he opted to give “the alleged contemnor (Saraki) another opportunity to remedy the alleged wrong”.
Omo-Agege had initiated the committal proceedings praying that Saraki be sent to prison as punishment for flouting the May 10, 2018 judgment of the court which ordered him (Omo-Agege) to be reinstated from illegal suspension and be paid all his accrued benefits for the period of the voided suspension.
Izinyon had complained in the Form 49, the contempt charge instituted against Saraki, that while his client had been allowed to resume to the Senate, Saraki had allegedly continued to flout the order directing that the applicant be paid all his entitlements.
He said Saraki, in flouting the judgment, had refused to give an approval to the payment as ordered by the court.
The hearing of the committal proceedings was scheduled for October 11, but the alleged contemnor and his lawyers were absent from court.
Omo-Agege’s lawyer, Izinyon, informed the court that the defence did not show up in court despite having been served with the court processes and the hearing notice via newspaper publication as ordered by the court.
He had urged the court to proceed with the hearing in their absence, but the court opted to give the Senate President another chance and adjourned till Thursday.
At the Thursday’s proceedings, Izinyon told the judge that his client had been paid on October 12, which was a day after the judge issued a warning to the Senate President.
Izinyon said Saraki was served with the court order of October 11, along with a letter from his chambers informing him of the Thursday’s proceedings.
He said the next day, on October 12, one of the Senate President’s Special Assistants reached him that his client had nine cheques.
The senior lawyer said he received and acknowledged the receipt of nine cheques on behalf of the senator.
According to the lawyer, when the cheques were presented to Omo-Agege, the senator acknowledged that there was a shortfall of N6m.
He said when notified, the Senate President’s aide acknowledged that the senator’s claim was correct and admitted that the shortfall arose from an error of computation.