Politics

April 5, 2024

I didn’t suspend Ningi, Senate did, Akpabio replies Falana

Senate launches magazine

Akpabio

By Innocent Anaba

Senate President, God swill Akpabio, has exonerated himself from the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi from the Red chamber.“Ningi, the senator representing Bauchi Central senatorial district, was suspended by the Senate on March 14, 2024, following an interview he granted BBC, where he accused the Senate leadership of padding the 2024 federal budget. 

Right activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, counsel to Ningi, had in a letter to the Senate president, asked Akpabio to immediately lift the suspension placed on him (Ningi).

Akpabio,  through his counsel, Chief Umeh Kalu, SAN, said: “We have carefully read through your analysis of the facts and circumstances leading to your client’s suspension from the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and, are unable to find reason in your verdict of our client’s sole culpability in the said suspension.

READ ALSO: Akpabio denies responsibility for Ningi’s suspension, replies Falana’s allegations

“The decision and resolution to suspend Senator Ningi was that of the Senate sitting in plenary and not that of Senator Akpabio.

“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, which 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.

“In as much as it may not be necessary to canvass herein all the remedies available to our client, in response to your threats of a court action and petition to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC, it is important we mention that legislative proceedings are guided by rules and that certain privileges enure to legislators for their actions in the course of legislative sessions.”

“Furthermore, our client though a lawyer by profession does not sit and preside over the sessions of the Senate, as a lawyer, or in the discharge of his services as a legal practitioner.

“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.”