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Ningi’s Suspension Is Not Between Him And Akpabio – Senate Responds To Seven-Day Ultimatum

Reports have indicated that the Senate will respond to Senator Abdul Ningi’s letter seeking a recall from his three-month suspension.

Committee on Media and Public Affairs Chairman, Senator Yemi Adaramodu, said last night that the Senate was still on Easter and Eid break.

He stated that the suspension was not between the Senate president, Godswill Akpabio and Ningi, but between the suspended senator and his 108 colleagues.

Recall that the embattled lawmaker was suspended after accusing the senate leadership of padding the 2024 budget by N3.7 trillion.

Through his counsel Femi Falana (SAN), Ningi wrote Akpabio asking to be recalled within seven days or he would take legal action.

He claimed his right to freedom of speech was violated

The letter reads in part: “Dissatisfied with the interview, you caused our client to be put on trial before the Senate on March 14, 2024 contrary to the provisions of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, 2018. This was in utter violation of the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

“As a senior lawyer, you ought to have drawn the attention of the members of the Senate to these decisions and several others where the High Courts of some states and the Court of Appeal have held that no parliament in Nigeria has the power to suspend or expel a legislator and confiscate his salaries and allowances.

“In view of the foregoing, you will agree with us that the suspension of Senator Ningi and the denial of his entitlements are illegal and unconstitutional in every material particular.

“We are compelled to request you to ensure that the said suspension is lifted forthwith.”

Akpabio told reporters when he returned from the 148th meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva that Ningi’s issue would be resolved when the Senate resumes on April 16.

It is a parliamentary decision. I have not seen the letter yet. But Senator Ningi is one of us. I believe that in a few days, he will join us.

“There is no problem. It would be resolved amicably. The Senate is a family,” Akpabio had said.

Yesterday, Adaramodu said: “The Senate is on Easter and Eid break. When we resume, we will see the content of the letter.

“We cannot respond to a letter we have not seen. The most important thing is that it is not a matter between Ningi and Akpabio.

It is a matter between 108 Senators and Ningi. The action was taken by all the Senators in an open session.

“So, even if a letter is addressed to the Senate President, it has to be brought to the Senate. When we resume, when we see it, we will take it up on its merit.”

On the seven-day ultimatum given by Ningi, Adaramodu said: “Now that we are on break, will there be any official transaction on any correspondence?

“The break is official, there couldn’t have been any transaction during the period.”

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