ADVERTISEMENT

Here's why Senate is silent on Omo-Agege's US fraud, forgery case

Upon his return to Nigeria, the Deputy Senate President allegedly removed "Augustine" from his names and adopted his middle name, "Ovie", to avoid any links with the case in California.

Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege [Twitter]

The upper legislative chamber has given reasons for its silence on a case of fraud and forgery involving the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.

Omo-Agege was suspended from practicing law in California, United States, over a case of forgery and fraud in 1995.

According to documents obtained by SaharaReporters, the Deputy Senate President was also placed on probation and mandated to take a multistate professional responsibility examination before being admitted back to the US bar, according to the court document seen.

ADVERTISEMENT

After being arrested, a four-count amended charge was filed against Omo-Agege in the Los Angeles County Superior Court with case number BA111331.

“The allegations continue that on or about the date referred to above, respondent signed the name of Elpert Defrietas to a check in the amount of $890 and attempted to pass said check as true and genuine knowing that said check was forged with the intent to defraud the Bank of America, Ahined Mahome and Elpert Defrietas," the charge sheet read.

The court found Omo-Agege guilty and charged him for forgery on November 30, 1995.

At this time, his bore the names "Augustine O. Omo-Agege".

On April 12, 1998, the review department of the State Bar Court issued an order suspending Omo-Agege from practicing law in California for two years effective May 30, 1996.

ADVERTISEMENT

After his conviction, Omo-Agege returned to Nigeria where he soon delved into politics.

To have a smooth sail, Omo-Agege removed "Augustine" from his name and adopted his middle name, Ovie, perhaps in order to avoid any sort of linkage to his criminal past in California.

After serving as commissioner in under former Delta State governor, James Ibori, and becoming Senator Omo-Agege rose politically, emerging Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate on June 11, 2019 after defeating his colleague, Ike Ekweremadu.

Addressing journalists at the National Assembly on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, Senate spokesperson, Godiya Akwashiki, maintained that the upper legislative chamber has not received and petition to that effect and cannot investigate the matter.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I read the issue of the DSP in the news but, I want to say here that I am speaking here for the ninth Senate and not the American court or judiciary as an arm of government in Nigeria," he announced.

"We are Senators and lawmakers, so we should be seen working within the purview of the law of the land.

"In the case of Elisha Abbo, somebody stood up and raised a matter of public interest; we discussed it and we set up a committee. But, because that matter is in the court of law, we said we should keep it in abeyance. There is nothing wrong with that.

"The issue of the Deputy Senate President is not even in Nigeria. I don't know anything about it. We are Senators, if somebody petitions the DSP to the committee on petition, I want to assure you, we will look into it. For now, it is not an issue of the Senate," he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, Senator Omo-Agege believes the matter is politically motivated to tarnish his image and reputation.

Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Omo-Agege, Yomi Odunuga, said that his principal had cleared his name from the alleged offences in the United States and can no longer be held for it.

According to him, political enemies of the Deputy Senate President were behind the resurfacing of the matter.

“There is an ongoing politically motivated propaganda designed solely to defame the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, by publicly harming and destroying his good reputation," Odunuga said.

“The DSP has nothing to hide. Yes, he faced a criminal trial in 1996 in California, USA, but ultimately prevailed as he was cleared.

ADVERTISEMENT

“There is no question about it at all that he came out whole and unscathed, but his wicked and desperate political enemies want the world to believe otherwise.

“Following issues raised in the criminal trial for which the DSP was ultimately acquitted by the Superior Court of California, he was also made to face a professional ethics violations investigation (No. 94-C-14401) by the California Bar, leading to an unjust brief suspension from the Bar.

“By Nigerian law, INEC only requires a candidate for an elective office to disclose convictions (if any) that happened 10 years before his/her nomination.

“So, assuming the DSP’s traducers were even correct about the alleged 1996 conviction (which is not the case at all), where is the perjury, given that the events alleged occurred more than 24 years ago?” he queried.

Enhance Your Pulse News Experience!

Get rewards worth up to $20 when selected to participate in our exclusive focus group. Your input will help us to make informed decisions that align with your needs and preferences.

I've got feedback!

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Primary school in Lagos defends charging pupils ₦42 million per year

Primary school in Lagos defends charging pupils ₦42 million per year

I'm happy my successor still honours me; it's fighting in many states — Umahi

I'm happy my successor still honours me; it's fighting in many states — Umahi

Movie in the Park collaborates with Yhemo Lee for the All Black Edition

Movie in the Park collaborates with Yhemo Lee for the All Black Edition

Lagos govt clamps down on illegal estates in Alaro City, other areas in Epe

Lagos govt clamps down on illegal estates in Alaro City, other areas in Epe

We were laughing at those who celebrated dollar rise - Shettima

We were laughing at those who celebrated dollar rise - Shettima

Zaria college to investigate 12 students suspected to be cultists

Zaria college to investigate 12 students suspected to be cultists

Tinubu’s aide donates foodstuff to victims of attacks in Kogi community

Tinubu’s aide donates foodstuff to victims of attacks in Kogi community

Onakoya thanks American counterpart after clocking 60-hour chess marathon record

Onakoya thanks American counterpart after clocking 60-hour chess marathon record

Tinubu celebrates Onakoya's ingenuity to set new Guinness World chess record

Tinubu celebrates Onakoya's ingenuity to set new Guinness World chess record

Pulse Sports

Lionel Messi's son breaks the internet after scoring five goals for Inter Miami

Lionel Messi's son breaks the internet after scoring five goals for Inter Miami

Naija Stars Abroad: Onyedika, Boniface, and Osimhen shine across Europe

Naija Stars Abroad: Onyedika, Boniface, and Osimhen shine across Europe

Victor Osimhen and Tobi Amusan make list of Forbes’ 30 under 30 Class of 2024

Victor Osimhen and Tobi Amusan make list of Forbes’ 30 under 30 Class of 2024

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT