Akpabio says Senate would review Ningi’s 3-month suspension

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has stated that the upper house will soon reconsider Senator Abdul Ningi’s three-month ban.

The Bauchi Senator was suspended amid claims that the N28.78 trillion 2024 budget was overstated by N3.7 trillion.

Akpabio made the comment after returning to Nigeria from a seven-day trip to Geneva, Switzerland, for the 148th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Though he has yet to receive a letter from Senator Ningi, he expressed hope that the Bauchi politician will soon return to legislative duties, as the matter will be handled as a family matter.

Abdul Ningi, the suspended Senator from Bauchi Central, was said to have written to the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, and the Senate leadership, through his counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, demanding that the suspension placed on him be lifted.

Falana stressed that if his suspension is not lifted in the next seven days, he will drag the Senate before the Federal High Court.

Falana also argued that apart from violating Ningi’s fundamental right to a fair hearing, the Senate also violated the right of the people of the Bauchi Central Senatorial District to representation in the Senate for three months. He further stated that the suspension of his client is a breach of Section 111 of the Constitution and Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act.

Falana stated in the letter that the Senate President acted as the accuser, prosecutor, and judge in the case, saying this is in utter violation of the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

The Senate, on March 12, 2024, suspended Senator Ningi for three months over a media interview with the BBC Hausa Service, alleging that N3 Trillion in the 2024 budget was not traceable to any project and location.

The suspension also led to the resignation of the Bauchi-born lawmaker from his position as Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum and immediately replaced by the All Progressives Congress, APC Senator, Abdulaziz Yar’Adua representing Katsina Central.

(AIT)

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