Ningi says his suspension is illegal, gives Akpabio ultimatum to revoke it

Ningi says his suspension is illegal, gives Akpabio ultimatum to revoke it

Abdul Ningi, the senator representing Bauchi Central, has given the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, a seven-day ultimatum to lift his suspension from the upper legislative chamber.


In a letter dated March 27 and addressed to Akpabio through his counsel, Femi Falana, Ningi said he would approach a federal high court for his reinstatement if the suspension is not lifted within seven days.


Recall that Ningi was suspended for three months after he alleged that the 2024 budget was padded by N3 trillion.


Godswill Akpabio said Ningi’s accusation will cause many Nigerians to lose trust in the upper legislative chamber.


In his letter challenging his suspension, Ningi said his suspension is “unconstitutional and illegal”. The senator’s lawyer said though Akpabio was indicted in the budget padding allegation, he presided over the proceedings of the senate that suspended Ningi.


“It is on record that you were the accuser, the prosecutor, and the judge in your case in utter violation of the provisions of section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004,” the letter reads.


“Apart from violating our client’s fundamental right to a fair hearing, the Senate violated the right of the entire people of the Bauchi Central Senatorial District to 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.


“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 corruption or abuse of office.


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


“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.


“Given 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 within seven days of the 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.”

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