The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has opened up on alleged conviction slammed on him in California, United States of America (USA) over perjury.
The senator representing the Delta State central senatorial district admitted that he was tried but not convicted.
This comes after a coalition of youth groups led by one Solomon Adodo, called on Omo-Agege to resign immediately as Deputy President of the Senate.
The groups had at a media briefing, alleged that Omo- Agege was tried and convicted for perjury in the State of California in 1996 which according to it made Omo-Agege to be an ex-convict in the eye of the law not deserving to be the number four citizen of the country presently.
“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”, they alleged .
But Omo-Agege in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on media, Yomi Odunuga, refuted the claim of the group, by insisting that he was not at any time convicted in the United States of America over perjury allegation that came his way in 1990s in California.
The statement titled: ” Alleged Conviction of DSP Omo-Agege by Court in USA ” reads in part ” 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.
“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.
“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 now blackmailing him.
“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” .
Odunuga in the statement stressed further that the planned distraction will not in anyway distract Omo-Agege from his mandate as Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District and Deputy President of the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria .
“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”, he said