A former Majority Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, will resume from suspension on Tuesday as the National Assembly reconvenes after its two-month annual recess.
Members of the Senate and House of Representatives had gone on holiday on July 27, 2017.
A source in Ndume’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the six-month suspension of the lawmaker, who is representing Borno South Senatorial District, had been completed.
“The distinguished senator is currently in Maiduguri but will be in Abuja on Tuesday to return to his legislative duty,” the source said.
The Senate had on March 29, 2017, suspended Ndume for six months for not “conducting due diligence” before filing a petition against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; and the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye.
Less than one week after the Senate suspended Ndume, Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima; members of Borno State caucus in the National Assembly and representatives of traditional rulers had pleaded with Saraki and the Senate to recall him.
Ndume, while speaking at a public forum few days after, however, stated that he had no reason to apologise for calling the attention of the Senate to allegations against Saraki and Melaye.
Ndume was suspended “for bringing Senator Dino Melaye, his colleague, and the institution of the Senate to unbearable disrepute.”
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions made the recommendation in its report, which was adopted by the lawmakers.
The panel had recommended that the lawmaker be suspended for one year but some senators pleaded that the punishment be reduced to six months, which was unanimously approved.
Ndume had on March 21, 2017, urged the Senate to investigate the allegation that an armoured Range Rover car reportedly worth $298,000 seized by the Nigeria Customs Service allegedly belonged to Saraki.
The lawmaker also called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to investigate the certificate scandal involving Melaye.
He recalled that previous certificate scandals involving members of the National Assembly were probed by the lawmakers.
An online news portal, Sahara Reporters, which made the allegation in a report published on March 18, 2017, said the seizure of the Sports Utility Vehicle, allegedly belonging to Saraki, was the reason why the Senate was moving against the Controller General of the NCS, Col. Hammed Ali (retd.).
The medium reported that the car was intercepted and impounded on January 11, 2017, by the service for allegedly having fake documents.
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which was mandated to investigate the allegations, had exonerated Saraki and Melaye, while it recommended Ndume for punishment.
Earlier on January 10, 2017, members of the All Progressives Congress caucus had announced Ndume’s sacking as the leader of the caucus for speaking against the Senate over its failure to confirm the appointment of the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
He was replaced with Senator Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North).
PDP Crisis: Dele Momodu warns Wike to apply brakes before it’s too late
Former presidential aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dele Momodu has urged Governor Nyesom Wike of River State to thread softly before it becomes too late.
The remark is coming amid internal wrangling between the Rivers governor and the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Abubakar Atiku.
“Many politicians survive only on power. My Brother, I love you. But someone must be able to tell you the truth. No General fights on too many fronts. Please, apply the brakes, before it is too late,” he said.
Momodu made the plea in a statement titled, “My Kobo Advice to Governor Nyesom Wike,” which he issued via his verified Instagram handle on Thursday.
He said, “My dear Brother, good evening. I have watched you in recent months with trepidation. I’m scared about your inability to comprehend the country called Nigeria. You must have underrated how the owners of Nigeria operate.
“I studied the biography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I was an insider in the June 12 1993 crisis, and a veritable witness to the tribulations of my great mentor, Chief Moshood Abiola. Closer home, you must have seen how your predecessor, Dr. Peter Odili, was stopped in his tracks in 2007.
“You’re certainly one of Nigeria’s best performing Governors, if not the best. Personally, I’m very proud of your uncommon achievements. I know you are very angry. It is your right to be. But I’m begging you in the name of God not to take decisions based on anger… Nigeria has been very kind to you.
“Rivers State has been extremely generous to you. GOD has blessed you beyond imagination. You have such a beautiful family. Your people love you stupendously for services delivered to them. PDP has been your solid platform.
“You should never destroy a bridge after crossing the river. Even if you no longer need the bridge, what of your friends and family? I pray you kill this excessive and perpetual ANGER. It is getting out of hand. Most people around you will keep quiet for fear of losing patronage,” he said.
Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Catholics want Lalong suspended
Some members of the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria have called for the suspension of Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State from the church over his reference to the pope while defending his acceptance to serve as the Director General (DG) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council.
Lalong, on Wednesday, told correspondents at the presidential villa, Abuja, that as a Catholic and papal knight, the pope had not told him that it was wrong for him to lead the Muslim-Muslim presidential campaign team.
Following the comment, aggrieved Catholic faithful criticised the governor for bringing the church into disrepute and dragging the Holy Father into the murky politics of Nigeria.
But Lalong said his reference to Pope Francis on his appointment was out of reverence and not disregard for the Holy Father, Catholic Church or Christianity.
He said it was unfortunate that part of the interview had been excised and used by politicians for propaganda and misinformation about his personality, faith and political persuasion.
The President of the Concerned Catholics in Nigeria (CCN), Dr Ben Amodu, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, said Lalong must tender an apology for maligning the name of the pope and the entire church.
He also said the leadership of the Catholic community in Nigeria must ensure that the governor was made to atone for his blasphemous statement about the pope and the Catholic Church in public.
Amodu said, “The fact that Governor Simon Bako Lalong, a practicing Catholic who supposedly knows that the Catholic Church is not involved in partisan politics, but still went ahead to insinuate that the pope is in support of his decision smacks a mockery of the revered Catholic Church in Nigeria and around the world.
“The Concerned Catholics in Nigeria condemn such despicable conduct as it is not reflective of the stance of the pope and the Catholic Church in Nigeria and around the world concerning the political permutations in Nigeria.”
‘My reference to pope mark of reverence’
Governor Lalong, in a statement yesterday by his media aide, said it was unfortunate that part of his remarks had been used by politicians for propaganda and misinformation about his personality, faith and political persuasion.
He said, “My reference to the Holy Father, the Pope, was to emphasise that as a Christian born and raised in the Catholic faith, accepting the assignment given to me by my party, the APC, of which I am a founding member, does not in any way remove my faith in Jesus Christ or my commitment to the church in Nigeria and universally.
“Those who know me can attest to my respect for the church, Christianity and spiritual fathers of all denominations. They know my modest contribution to the growth of the church in Plateau State, Northern Nigeria and Nigeria at large and can testify to it.”
The governor further said he had high regard for Christians and church authority and would continue to work hard in promoting the interests of Christians and adherents of other religions based on love, justice, equity and fairness.w
PDP primary: Gov Wike drags Atiku, Tambuwa to court, demands removal from INEC list
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has sued the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the party and the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal over the conduct of party’s primary held May 29, 2022.
During the primary election held in Abuja, the Sokoto Governor, while addressing delegates, asked them to vote for him but later declared that he stepped down for the former Vice President, Atiku.
The election had Atiku poll 371 votes as winner, while Wike and Bukola Saraki garnered 237 and 70 votes, respectively.
Wike and his loyalists have been in a face-off with Atiku’s camp since the conclusion of the PDP’s primary election.
Following the prolonged crisis rocking the party, Wike and a PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon have now dragged Atiku, Tambuwal and the PDP to court in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022.
In the originating summons, the PDP is listed as the first respondent, while the Independent National Electoral Commission is the 2nd respondent. Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the 3rd and 4th respondents, respectively.
Among other issues listed, Wike and Ekamon asked the court to order the INEC to reject or remove Atiku from “its list of candidates in the 2023 presidential election.”
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