Senate Finally Recalls Former Leader, Ndume
The Senate has finally recalled its former Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, who was suspended ìn a controversial circumstances eight months ago.
Ndume (Borno South APC) was placed on suspension following the recommendation of the ethics and privileges committee of the Senate headed by Senator Samuel Anyanwu.
The committee was asked to investigate allegations against Dr. Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate, and Senator Dino Melaye.
Although Ndume was not the originator of the allegations, on March 20, he raised a point of order asking the Senate to investigative issues involving the two lawmakers, as reported in the media.
Ndume requested that the Senate provides an avenue for those involved to clear their names and redeem the image of the institution.
“Therefore, accordingly, I will appeal we refer the matter to Ethics and Privileges to investigate so that our colleagues would be cleared and this Senate will stand as it is supposed to,” he said at the time.
However, at the conclusion of its assignment, the Anyanwu committee cleared Saraki and Melaye of any wrongdoing in the matters.
Ndume was then accused of raising a false alarm capable of tarnishing the image of his colleagues.
The committee absolved Saraki of any culpability in respect of an armoured SUV imported with fake documents and seized by the Nigeria Customs Service.
Anyanwu said the car importer and dealer confirmed Saraki or the Senate was not involved in the importation of the vehicle in 2015, and that the allegation against Saraki was made up.
On Melaye whose claim to an Ahmadu Bello University degree was questioned, Anyanwu said the Vice-Chancellor of the institution confirmed the Kogi West Senator graduated from ABU in 2000.
Anyanwu further reported that Melaye tendered his statement of result and National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate which he obtained in 2001, having started in 2000.
The committee therefore recommended that Ndume be suspended for one year, that is 181 legislative days.
He was subsequently placed on six months suspension.
However in September, when the six months was deemed to have passed, the Senate issued a statement extending the suspension to November, on the excuse of discounting holidays and weekends.
A Federal High Court last week nullified the suspension, saying it was illegal.
The court also ordered Ndume’s immediate reinstatement and payment of all his entitlements for the period of the suspension.
The Senate through its counsel, Mike Ozekhome, said on Sunday that it would appeal the ruling.
However, in a letter addressed to Ndume by the Clerk to the Senate, Mr. Nelson Ayewoh, the Senator was asked to resume in plenary on Wednesday, November 15.
“The suspension notice of the Senate vide Resolution S/Res/130/02/17 expires on November 14th, 2017.
“This communication is to inform the Distinguished Senator of your resumption in plenary scheduled for Wednesday, 15th November, 2017,” the clerk wrote.
The letter dated November 6 came four days before the Federal High Court in Abuja nullified Mr. Ndume’s suspension.
Ndume in a chat with some journalists said he has put his travails behind him as he is prepared to resume on Wednesday.
“I am reporting on Wednesday as directed and I hope to go back with renewed vigour in representing my people,” he said.
Asked why he went to court to challenge the action of his colleagues despite saying he holds no grudges against the senators, Ndume said it was to clear his name.
“I keep insisting I did no wrong and that is why I want that to be established. I want to set the record straight.”