A group under the aegis of Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy ( (VATLAD), Thursday in Abuja, accused those calling for resignation and prosecution of the Deputy President of the Senate , Ovie Omo-Agege over alleged conviction in the United States of America , of planning double Jeopardy for him .
Coalition of Groups led by the Guardians of Democracy and Development , Partners for Legislative Agenda for Nigeria etc , had penultimate week , called for resignation of Omo- Agege from office as deputy president of the senate on alleged conviction in USA in 1996 for perjury .
The coalition submitted petitions to that effect to both the Senate and the Department of State Services ( DSS).
But VATLAD in a statement signed by its national president, Comrade Igbini Odafe Emmanuel , said the move by the coalition of antagonists of Omo- Agege is maliciously driven and not supported by facts or constitutional provisions.
VATLAD said even if it was true that Omo- Agege was convicted in USA in 1996 for alleged perjury, it will amount to double jeopardy for him to be forced out of office now and prosecuted again , 24 years after the alleged earlier conviction .
The statement reads : ” Our attention has just been drawn to Punch Newspaper Report of Thursday, January 23, 2020, in respect of the continued demand by some Civil Society Organisations for the resignation and criminal prosecution of deputy president of the senate allegedly for his conviction for criminal offence in the US in year 1996, about 24 years ago, and also for allegedly masterminding the unlawful removal of the Mace from the Senate chamber last year.
“In line with our pursuit of equal Justice for all Nigerians, we have decided to react exactly the same way we did last year precisely on June 10, 2019 when some Civil Society Organisations and politicians demanded for the disqualification of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila from vying for the position of speaker of the 9th House of Representative over similar allegation that he was once charged and convicted of criminal offence in the US over 15 years ago.
“First, we want to state that assuming but without conceding that Senator Omo-Agege was convicted of criminal offence in the US about 24 years ago, it will amount to double jeopardy for these Civil Society Organizations or anyone to demand that he be prosecuted and punished the second time for the same offence he has been allegedly punished for over 24 years ago in the US.
“Double Jeopardy is the worst injustice that can be inflicted on anyone and therefore totally against the spirit of Criminal Justice system in Nigeria and all across the globe.
“Secondly, by relevant sections of 1999 Nigerian constitution, as amended, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was very qualified to vie for the positions of Senate and Deputy President of Senate of Nigeria when he did in February and June 2019, respectively.”