A Federal High Court, Abuja, has reversed the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume from the Senate. Justice Babatunde Quadri in his judgement on Friday declared the six-month suspension illegal and ordered that Ndume’s outstanding salaries and allowances be paid to him.
“The suspension of the plaintiff (Ndume) is hereby declared illegal,unlawful and unconstitutional. The purported suspension contained in the letter of March 30 is hereby set aside”, the judge said.
“The first and second defendants (the senate president and the senate) are hereby directed to pay the plaintiff his outstanding salaries and allowances forthwith,” he added.
Justice Quadri however declined the N500 million compensation Ndume asked for over his suspension. The judge said, “Relief on the issue of damages is hereby refused, because I hope this will facilitate reconciliation in the senate between the plaintiff and other members of the senate and bring peace to our nascent democracy.”
Ndume, who represents Zamfara state in the senate, was suspended for allegedly breaching the privilege of Senator Bukola Saraki, president of senate, and another lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye. At a time, a story about Senator Saraki allegedly trying to evade duty payment on an imported vehicle broke. About then, also, Senator Melaye was accused of forging his credentials obtained from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Consequently, Ndume urged the senate to investigate the issues before it became a scandal for the legislative house. He, however, was accused of not doing due diligence and merely relying on newspaper reports before raising the issue at plenary. The event happened shortly after Senator Ndume was removed as Senate Majority Leader, and Senator Farouk Lawan appointed as a replacement.
The senate eventually suspended Senator Ndume on March 29.