Politics

Court voids Ndume’s suspension, to resume work Wednesday

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Justice Babatunde Quadri, of the federal High court in Abuja has voided the suspension of former Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, by the Senate.

Justice Babatunde Quadri, of the Federal High court in Abuja has voided the suspension of former Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, by the Senate.

Ndume told newsmen in Abuja on Friday, that the Clerk to the Senate had written to him to notify him of his resumption on Wednesday.

The Senate had on March 30 this year, suspended the Borno State senator for 90 legislative days (six months) over his alleged failure to conduct due diligence before filing a petition against Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sen. Dino Melaye.

Ndume had on March 21, 2017, called on the Senate to probe the allegation of an armoured Range Rover, allegedly belonging to Saraki and said to have cost N298 million, but which the chamber later said cost $298,000 and was seized by the Nigeria Customs Service.

He also asked the lawmakers to investigate the certificate scandal involving Senator Melaye.

Consequently the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, after investigating the matter found out that the allegations against Saraki and Melaye were unfounded and recommended that Ndume be suspended for one year.

The report on Ndume’s suspension which was presented by the committee’s chairman, Senator Samuel Anyanwu adopted by the Senate and Ndume was subsequently suspended for six months for “bringing Melaye, his colleague, and the institution of the senate to unbearable disrepute.”

Ndume had challenged the matter in court and the presiding judge in the case in his ruling on Friday, declared the former Senate Majority Leader’s suspension illegal and ordered that he be paid all his outstanding salaries and allowances.

He further ordered that Ndume be allowed to resume his duties in the Senate as a senator.

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He said, “The suspension of the plaintiff (Ndume) is hereby declared illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional. The purported suspension contained in the letter of March 30 is hereby set aside.

“The first and second defendants (the Senate president and the Senate) are hereby directed to pay the plaintiff his outstanding salaries and allowances forthwith.”

Meanwhile, Justice Quadri denied granting the N500 million damages Ndume had prayed the court to award him.

“Relief on the issue of damages is hereby refused, because I hope this will facilitate reconciliation in the senate between the plaintiff and other members of the senate and bring peace to our nascent democracy,” Justice Quadri held.

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