BREAKING: Senate recalls suspended Senator Abdul Ningi

Sharon EboesomiMay 28, 20245 min

Senator Ningi was suspended on March 12, 2024 over allegations of budget padding.

BREAKING: Senate recalls suspended Senator Abdul Ningi

The Senate has pardoned and resolved to recall Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central).

This followed a motion for the unconditional recall of Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi by Deputy Minority Leader Sen. Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South) during Tuesday’s plenary.

The motion was co-sponsored by Senators Olalere Oyewumi (PDP, Osun West) and Osita Ngwu (PDP, Enugu West).

Presenting his motion, Senator Moro expressed regret on behalf of the suspended senator and called for his immediate recall.

He said, “On Tuesday 12″ March 2024, this very revered 10th Senate in plenary suspended the former Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi of Bauchi Central Senatorial District for three months following a media interview he granted the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service on March 9, 2024, in which he alleged that about 3.7 trillion Naira representing over 10% of the 2024 budget was illegally inserted into the 2024 National Budget. 

“Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi was asked to address his allegation of budget padding against the National Assembly, following a motion of urgent national importance moved by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations. And failing to address the allegation, the Senate resolved to suspend Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi for three months for violating legislative rules, misconduct and unethical behaviour for the interview he granted on BBC Media on the 2024 Appropriation Act, a legislation which process he was part of. 

“Senator Abdul Ahmed Ninigi, being under suspension, has spent over two months outside the precincts of the National Assembly Complex and needs to return to continue with his legislative activities as the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District.

“The Senate Minority Leadership takes full responsibility for the actions of our colleague Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi and apologises on his behalf.”

In his remark, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, described Ningi as a valued member of the Senate.

READ ALSO: Budget Padding: “Ningi’s suspension an internal matter that has been dealt with” – Senator Adaramodu

OrderPaper recalls that following the suspension, Ningi through his lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) gave the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio a seven-day ultimatum to lift the suspension placed on him.

However, Akpabio through his counsel Umeh Kalu (SAN), replied to Falana saying that Ningi’s suspension was a decision of the Senate and not his decision alone.

The letter read, “We have carefully read through your analysis of the facts and circumstances leading to your client’s suspension from the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and, are unable to find reason in your verdict of our client’s sole culpability in the said suspension. 

“The decision and resolution to suspend Senator Ningi was that of the Senate sitting in plenary and not that of Senator Akpabio. 

In addition to the above and contrary to the contents of your letter under reference, our client was at no time your client’s accuser, prosecutor and judge. 

“Our client’s role at the session of the Senate that led to your client’s suspension was and remains the statutory role of a Legislative House Presiding Officer, which role equally includes pronouncing the majority decision of the Legislative House at the end of debate and voting. 

Permit us to mention your attempt at drawing our client’s attention to legal authorities and pronouncements of our courts of record on the unconstitutionality of suspending members of Legislative Houses, which attempt we dare say) was unhelpful, due to your failure or refusal to make available the relevant particulars of the said court decisions in your letter. 

“You may wish to provide these legal authorities which you have alluded to, bearing in mind that every decision of a Court emanates from its peculiar facts, circumstances and extant Laws.”

Sharon Eboesomi

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