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Senator Ningi demands lift of suspension, threatens legal action

Ahmed Ningi Challenges Senate President over Suspension

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Senator Ahmed Ningi of Bauchi Central has issued a stern demand to Senate President Godswill Akpabio, urging the immediate lifting of his suspension. In a letter delivered through his legal representative, Femi Falana (SAN), Ningi warned of legal action against the Senate if the suspension is not revoked within seven days.

Ningi’s suspension came on March 12 following his remarks alleging a N3.7tn padding in the 2024 budget. He argued that the budget approved by the National Assembly was N25tn, contrasting with the purported N28.7tn being executed by the Presidency. The Senate deemed Ningi’s claims damaging to its reputation, leading to his three-month suspension for what they deemed an unfounded allegation.

Despite stepping down from his position as Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum and making a graceful exit from the chambers, Ningi remains resolute in contesting his suspension. Through Falana, he asserted that the process leading to his suspension was flawed, challenging the Senate President’s role as accuser, prosecutor, and judge in the matter.

In his letter to Akpabio, Falana highlighted the violation of Ningi’s right to freedom of speech and fair hearing, as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. Moreover, he argued that the suspension deprived the people of Bauchi Central of representation in the Senate, constituting a breach of constitutional and human rights provisions.

As tensions escalate between Ningi and the Senate leadership, the outcome of this legal battle could have far-reaching implications not only for the senator but also for the integrity and processes of Nigeria’s legislative institutions.

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