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No Backdoor Arrangement to Reinstate Ningi – Senate

Posted by Thandiubani on Tue 30th Apr, 2024 -

Recall that on March 13, the Senate slammed Ningi with a three-month suspension over allegations of N3.7tn padding in the 2024 budget.

The Senate has revealed it has no plan to reinstate the suspended lawmaker, Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) through the backdoor.
Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu ( APC, Ekiti South) stated this on Monday, while answering questions on the veracity of the claim that the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, had resolved to settle with the embattled lawmaker in private.
On March 13, the Senate slammed Ningi with a three-month suspension over allegations of N3.7tn padding in the 2024 budget.
Two weeks into his suspension, Ningi had written to the Senate President, via his lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, demanding his reinstatement or risk a court summon.
This was further followed by some media reports stating that Ningi would resume with his colleagues, having made peace with Akpabio and some cabals behind closed doors.
Adaramodu, however, noted that there was no provision for such an arrangement, as only the 108 senators could decide Ningi’s fate.
He said, “I am not aware of any back door arrangement, and to the best of my knowledge, there was none.
“There was an infraction occasioned by the actions of our respected colleague, Senator Abdul Ningi, which made the Senate in an open public session, where he was allowed to defend himself and for senators to talk on it, debated on it, then at the end of the day it was found that an infraction had really occurred.
“And 109 senators except Ningi decided that Senator Ningi would be given a light disciplinary declaration which gave him a three-month suspension from parliamentary activities.
“So it is only that 108 senators that took that action that can call Senator Ningi back.”
The senator added that when the Senate resumes on Tuesday, if he ( Ningi) makes a plea, then the senators will sit and review based on merits.
He said, “When we were not in the chamber, there have been so many insinuations, they have been a report that a letter has been written by the counsel to Senator Ningi compelling the Senate President to recall Senator Ningi within seven days.
“We will resume plenary today (Tuesday), so if the matter comes up, either directly or indirectly, either voluntarily or involuntarily, then we sit down together in the chamber and then we look at it on its merit and consider an action to be taken.”
Responding to speculations surrounding legal interventions, like in the case of the former Deputy Senate President, Ovie-Omo-Agege,  Adaramodu clarified, “I’m not a law court. The situations with Senator Omo-Agege and Ningi are distinctly different. Just as other organizations have disciplinary mechanisms, so does the legislature.”
Addressing concerns about representation for Ningi’s constituents during his suspension, Adaramodu highlighted that disciplinary actions only restrict a legislator from participating in chamber activities.
He explained, “Discipline is essential in any organization. While a disciplined member may be barred from chamber activities, they can still engage in constituency duties. The severity of discipline aligns with the gravity of the offence committed.
“He’s barred from attending plenaries, committee meetings and oversight.
“But talking about his consistency, he can have meetings with them, talk to them, attend meetings with them,
“If there is going to be discipline, then what is going to be the quality of the discipline vis-a-vis the enormity of the offence that you have committed.”

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