Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, has told the federal high court in Abuja that the suspension of Ovie Omo-Agege — senator representing Delta central — by the senate was illegal.
He subsequently asked the court to nullify the suspension as “all steps leading to it were unconstitutional.”
Malami made the submission on Monday during the hearing of the suit filed by Omo-Agege challenging his suspension by the upper legislative chamber.
On April 13, the senate suspended the lawmaker for 90 legislative days over his comments regarding the amendment to the electoral act.
He was among those that kicked against the move to reorder the election, alleging that it was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.
Malami, who was represented at the hearing by Dayo Apata, the solicitor-general of the federation, urged the court to declare the suspension as unlawful.
He said: “By virtue of Section 150 of the constitution, the attorney-general of the federation is the protector of the constitution and other Nigerian laws. He is bound by the constitution to react to constitutional questions.
“He is saying that all the steps leading to the suspension of the plaintiff in this matter are unconstitutional and lawful. And we urge the court to so hold.”
But the senate and Senate President Bukola Saraki — both named as defendants in the case — insisted the suspension was in order.
Rrepresented by Mahmud Magaji, their lawyer, they said Omo-Agege’s suspension was given according to the senate standing rules.
Magaji told the court that as a member of the senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions which recommended the lawmaker’s suspension, he is compelled to serve his “punishment.”
Nnamdi Dimgba, the presiding judge, fixed May 10 for judgment on the case, to determine the legality or otherwise of the senator’s suspension.