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I didn’t suspend him,  Akpabio replies Falana over suspension of Senator Ningi

 

I didn’t suspend him,  Akpabio replies Falana over suspension of Senator Ningi

 

 

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has said he is not solely responsible for the three-month suspension slapped on Senator Abdul Ningi.


Senator Akpabio made the clarification in a letter addressed to Mr Femi Falana (SAN) through his counsel, Mr Umeh Kalu (SAN).

Ningi was suspended last March by the Senate for alleging that the 2024 budget was padded with N3 trillion.

Falana, in a letter addressed to the Senate President, said the suspension of Ningi and the denial of his entitlement were illegal and unconstitutional.

He noted that the interview granted to the BBC Hausa Service by Senator Ningi was an expression of his fundamental human rights.

He advised Akpabio to lift Ningi’s suspension or be reported to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC.

Akpabio, in his response, through his lawyer, Kalu (SAN), titled “Re: Request to Lift the Suspension of Sen. Abdul Ningi,” maintained that he merely exercised his role as Presiding Officer of the Senate.

The letter reads in part: “We are solicitors to Sen. Godswill Akpabio and write you in respect of the above subject matter at his instance.

“Your letter of March 27, with the above caption, has been referred to us with instructions to react thereto.

“We have carefully read through your analysis of the facts and circumstances leading to your client’s suspension from the Senate.

“We are unable to find reason in your verdict of our client’s sole culpability in the said suspension. We therefore plead non est factum for our client. ”

The letter further read, “In addition to the above and contrary to the contents of your letter under reference, our client was at no time your client’s accuser, prosecutor, and judge.

“Our client’s role at the session of the Senate that led to your client’s suspension was and remains the statutory role of a Legislative House Presiding Officer, whose role equally includes pronouncing the majority decision of the Legislative House at the end of debate and voting.

“Permit us to mention your attempt at drawing our client’s attention to legal authorities and pronouncements of our courts of record on the unconstitutionality of suspending members of Legislative Houses.

“Which attempt we dare say was unhelpful, due to your failure or refusal to make available the relevant particulars of the said court decisions in your letter?

“You may wish to provide these legal authorities, which you have alluded to, bearing in mind that every decision of a court emanates from its peculiar facts, circumstances, and extant laws.

“Inasmuch as it may not be necessary to canvass herein all the remedies available to our client, in response to your threats of court action and petition to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), it is important we mention that legislative proceedings are guided by rules.

“We urge you to give due consideration to the legal issues raised in this letter and be guided accordingly in your further and future action in respect of this matter.”

 

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