Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege, All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta Central yesterday said that he was tried by the State Bar Court of the State of California, Los Angeles, USA in case No. 94-C-14401 in the United States of America, USA, but was never found guilty at the end of the day.
Omo- Agege who noted that since he was tried and cleared in the matter, he has been travelling to and fro the United States for both private Nd official engagements.
The Deputy President of the Senate was responding to a call for his immediate resignation as a Senator and for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to declare his seat vacant by a group under the aegis, ” Guardians of Democracy and Development, Partners for Legislative Agenda for Nigeria (PLAN), Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative and our partners under the Coalition of Civil Society and Youth Groups in Nigeria.”
According to the group, in the event that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege hesitates in resigning from Office, impeachment proceedings should be immediately initiated against him in order to redeem what it described as the battered image of the Nigerian Senate following the group’s allegation that the Deputy President of the Senate willfully concealed the fact of the said conviction from INEC and the Nigerian Senate thereby contravening the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the Rules of the Senate.
The group is also calling on the law enforcement Agency to immediately initiate fresh prosecution against Senator Omo-Agege for the alleged offence of perjury and denigration of the Nigerian Constitution, warning that if no serious action was taken in the next 72 hours, it shall mobilize thousands of Civil Society and Youth Groups to occupy the National Assembly. https://youtu.be/0fFY6vwKnTE
But Omo Agege who took a swipe at those calling for his resignation said that the story remains another feeble round of mere shadow- chasing that that will amount to nothing, even as he assured that he was committed to his mandate and will not be distracted by what he termed, the antics of disgruntled and defeated politicians.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Senator Omo- Agege, Yomi Odunuga 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 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.”
“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.”
The call for Omo- Agege’s resignation is contained in a document signed by Solomon Adodo, Convener, Coalition of Civil Society and Youth Groups in Nigeria and National Coordinator, Empowerment for Unemployed Youths Initiative; Comr. Danesi Momoh, Guardians of Democracy and Development; Comr. Khalifa Bello Adamu
Partners for Legislative Agenda for Nigeria; Amb. Edwin Olorunfemi, Center for Policy Advocacy and Leadership Development and Mallam Balarabe Musa of Arewa Youth for Peace and Security.
The statement read: “The Guardians of Democracy and Development, Partners for Legislative Agenda for Nigeria (PLAN), Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative and our partners under the Coalition of Civil Society and Youth Groups in Nigeria herein call for the immediate resignation of the Deputy President of the Senate – Senator Movie Omo-Agege – owing to available evidence that he was convicted by the State Bar Court of the State of California, Los Angeles, USA in case No. 94-C-14401. 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 the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the Rules of the Senate.
“Incontrovertible documentary evidences available to us reveal that sometime in April 22, 1996, Augustine O. Omo-Agege believed to be one and 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.
“Our scrupulous findings reveal that the said Augustine O. Omo-Agege was admitted into the State Bar of California on December 14, 1992.
“The records reveal that on or about March 7, 1992, the said Augustine O. Omo-Agege was alleged to have committed the crime of forgery of Check-in violation of Penal code section 470, a felony. 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 the Independent National Electoral Commission (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. All these have resulted in the denigration of the image and esteem of the Nigerian Senate before the international body of legislators. We can confidently state howbeit with patriotic pains and disenchantment that Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege 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 United States of America.
“It should further be brought to our memories that sometime around April 18, 2018, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege who was on suspension at the time, sneaked in through one of the glass barricades within the National Assembly complex and had the legislative mace seized by thugs allegedly under his instruction. This act in itself cast odium and deep negative aspersions on the image and integrity of the 8th Assembly. His subsequent emergence as Deputy President of the Senate in the 9th Assembly only went a great length in making a mockery of the 9th Assembly and the Nigerian Democratic System as a whole. 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.
“On the heels of these unimpeachable facts here stated we make the following urgent demands that: The said Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege should be prevailed upon by the Nigerian Senate to resign from Office and his Senatorial Seat declared vacant; In the event that Sen. Ovie 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.
“The law enforcement Agency should 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.”
According to information which is available publicly, the Barrister Ovie Omo Agege while a resident of the United States of America [In California] was a registered and practicing lawyer with license number #162185. He was admitted to the California Bar in December 14, 1992. His official office address used to register with the California Lawyers Association (CLA), an independent organization, was Augustine O. Omo-Agege, 10221 River Rd, # 61001, Potomac, MD 20859. But he was resident in Los Angeles, California. His office was situated along Cranshew Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.
Four years after being admitted to California bar on May 30, 1996, Ovie Omo Agege was suspended from the California bar. He was placed on interim suspension following his conviction for violating California Penal Code §470, forgery, a felony offense involving moral turpitude. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.
By August 1998, Ovie Omo Agege was readmitted to the Bar, only to be placed on probation by the December of 1998. He remained under probation and inactive until 2012 when he was readmitted.