Ningi Demands Immediate Lifting Of His Suspension From Senate, Threatens Akpabio With Lawsuit

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
4 Min Read

The senator representing Bauchi Central in the Senate, Ahmed Ningi, has sent a letter to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, requesting that his suspension be lifted.

Ningi, through his lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), stated that if his suspension is not lifted within seven days, he will take the Senate to the Federal High Court.

In the letter, Falana wrote: “On March 9, 2024, our client granted an interview to the BBC Hausa Service on the 2024 Appropriation Act. He expressed his views on the budget of the Federal Government in the exercise of his fundamental right to freedom of speech guaranteed by Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“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.”

In the letter, Falana stated that the Senate President took on the roles of accuser, prosecutor, and judge in the case, which goes against the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

Falana also argued that, besides infringing on Ningi’s right to a fair hearing, the Senate also denied the people of the Bauchi Central Senatorial District representation in the Senate for three months.

“This is a breach of Section 111 of the Constitution and Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act,” the SAN said.

“As you are no doubt aware, the Federal High Court had struck down the suspension of some members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who had accused the leadership of both houses of budget padding, corruption, or abuse of office.

“Specifically, the court declared the suspension of the affected legislators illegal and unconstitutional.

“As a senior lawyer, you (Akpabio) 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.

“However, if you fail to accede to our request seven days upon receipt of this letter, we shall not hesitate to pray the Federal High Court for the reinstatement of our client. We shall equally report you to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for treating the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal with disdain.”

Allub Times reports that on March 12, the Senate suspended Ningi for three months after he alleged that the 2024 budget was padded with N3.7tn.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.