Ndume returns from suspension as Senate resumes Tuesday

A former Majority Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, will resume from suspension on Tuesday as the National Assembly reconvenes after its two-month annual recess.

Ndume’s resumption was confirmed to The PUNCH on Sunday.

Members of the Senate and House of Representatives had gone on holiday on July 27, 2017.

A source in Ndume’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the six-month suspension of the lawmaker, who is representing Borno South Senatorial District, had been completed.

“The distinguished senator is currently in Maiduguri but will be in Abuja on Tuesday to return to his legislative duty,” the source said.

The Senate had on March 29, 2017, suspended Ndume for six months for not “conducting due diligence” before filing a petition against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; and the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye.

Less than one week after the Senate suspended Ndume, Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima; members of Borno State caucus in the National Assembly and representatives of traditional rulers had pleaded with Saraki and the Senate to recall him.

Ndume, while speaking at a public forum few days after, however, stated that he had no reason to apologise for calling the attention of the Senate to allegations against Saraki and Melaye.

Ndume was suspended “for bringing Senator Dino Melaye, his colleague, and the institution of the Senate to unbearable disrepute.”

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions made the recommendation in its report, which was adopted by the lawmakers.

The panel had recommended that the lawmaker be suspended for one year but some senators pleaded that the punishment be reduced to six months, which was unanimously approved.

Ndume had on March 21, 2017, urged the Senate to investigate the allegation that an armoured Range Rover car reportedly worth $298,000 seized by the Nigeria Customs Service allegedly belonged to Saraki.

The lawmaker also called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to investigate the certificate scandal involving Melaye.

He recalled that previous certificate scandals involving members of the National Assembly were probed by the lawmakers.

An online news portal, Sahara Reporters, which made the allegation in a report published on March 18, 2017, said the seizure of the Sports Utility Vehicle, allegedly belonging to Saraki, was the reason why the Senate was moving against the Controller General of the NCS, Col. Hammed Ali (retd.).

The medium reported that the car was intercepted and impounded on January 11, 2017, by the service for allegedly having fake documents.

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which was mandated to investigate the allegations, had exonerated Saraki and Melaye, while it recommended Ndume for punishment.

Earlier on January 10, 2017, members of the All Progressives Congress caucus had announced Ndume’s sacking as the leader of the caucus for speaking against the Senate over its failure to confirm the appointment of the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

He was replaced with Senator Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North).




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