News

March 27, 2024

Reinstate Ningi now, or be reported to LPDC, Falana hits Akpabio

Some govs'll use state police as means of oppression — Falana

…Says Akpabio caused his client to be put on trial before the Senate on March 14

… Says Akpabio pronounced our client guilty and suspended him

…Says Akpabio violated our client’s fundamental right to fair hearing

… Says Senate violated the right of the entire people of the Bauchi Central Senatorial District

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has requested for the reinstatement of the suspended Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, representing the Bauchi Central Senatorial District.

Ningi was suspended on the 12th of March, 2024, by the senate for alleging that the 2024 budget was padded with N3 trillion.

Falana who is Ningi’s defense counsel accused Akpabio of violating his client’s fundamental right to fair hearing.

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

The human rights lawyer who made his appeal known to Vanguard, disclosed that the senate president Godswill Akpabio caused his client to be put on trial before the Senate on March 14.

In a letter dated March 25, 2024, addressed to Akapbio, Falana opined that Akpabio pronounced his client (Ningi) guilty and suspended him.

 “At the end of the trial, you pronounced our client guilty and declared. “That the Senate do suspend Senator Abdul Nigin (Bauchi North) for three (3) months and he should forfeit all his entitlements and be disallowed from the precincts of the National Assembly Complex during the period of the suspension. He should also apologise to the Senate in writing, thereafter the senate can consider his remorse and recall him”, part of his letter read.

Read the full letter bellow:

March 25, 2024

Senator Godswill  Akpabio,

The Senate President,

Senate Building,

National Assembly Complex,

Three Arms Zone,

Abuja, FCT.

REQUEST TO LIFT THE SUSPENSION OF SENATOR ABDUL AHMED NINGI

“We are Solicitors to Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi representing the Bauchi Central Senatorial District in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (hereinafter referred to as “our client”) on whose behalf we write this letter.

“On March 9, 2024, our client granted an interview to the BBC Hausa Service on the 2024 Appropriation Act. He expressed his views on the budget in exercise of his fundamental right of freedom of speech guaranteed by section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.Dissatisfied with the interview, you caused our client to be put on trial before the Senate on March 14, 2024 contrary to the provisions of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, 2018.

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“Even though it was alleged that you were indicted by our client in the interview, you presided over the proceedings of the Senate. It is on record that you were the accuser, the prosecutor and the Judge in your own case in utter violation of the provisions of section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“At the end of the trial, you pronounced our client guilty and declared. “That the Senate do suspend Senator Abdul Nigin (Bauchi North) for three (3) months and he should forfeit all his entitlements and be disallowed from the precincts of the National Assembly Complex during the period of the suspension. He should also apologise to the Senate in writing, thereafter the senate can consider his remorse and recall him;”

“Apart from violating our client’s fundamental right to fair hearing, the Senate violated the right of the entire people of the Bauchi Central Senatorial District to representation in the Senate for three months. This is a breach of section 111 of the Constitution and article 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act.

“As you are no doubt aware, the Federal High Court had struck down the suspension of some members of Senate and the House of Representatives who had accused the leadership of both houses of corruption or abuse of office. Specifically, the court declared the suspension of the affected legislators illegal and unconstitutional. As a senior lawyer, you ought to have drawn the attention of the members of the Senate to these decisions and several others where the high courts of some states and the Court of Appeal have held that no parliament in Nigeria has the power to suspend or expel a legislator.

“In view of the foregoing, you will agree with us that the suspension of Senator Ningi and the denial of his entitlements are illegal and unconstitutional in every material particular. We are compelled to request you to ensure that the said suspension is lifted forthwith. However, if you fail to accede to our request within seven days of the receipt of this letter, we shall not hesitate to pray the Federal High Court for the reinstatement of our client. We shall equally report you to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for treating the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal with disdain.”

Vanguard Newspaper