Senate, Ndume tussle deepens, as upper chamber appeals Quadri’s judgment

The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume
The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume

By Christiana Ekpa

The Senate will today Monday, November 13, 2017, file an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court, delivered in favour of senator Ali Ndume 10th of November, 2017 by Justice Babatunde Quadri This was just as senate stated that, it respectfully disagrees with the said judgment.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, had declared the suspension of Ali Ndume by the Senate as illegal and ordered that he be paid all his outstanding salaries and allowances.
Justice Babatunde Quadri in his judgment on Friday, set aside the suspension and ordered that Ndume be allowed to resume his duties in the senate as a senator.
“The suspension of the plaintiff (Ndume) is hereby declared illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional. The purported suspension contained in the letter of March 30 is hereby set aside.
“The first and second defendants (the senate president and the senate) are hereby directed to pay the plaintiff his outstanding salaries and allowances forthwith.”
The Senate had on March 30, suspended Senator Ndume, who was former Majority Leader for 90 legislative days (six months).
Ndume was suspended for raising a matter that the Senate investigate public allegations of impropriety against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and another senator, Dino Melaye.
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which investigated the matter recommended that Mr. Ndume be suspended for one year.
The report, which was presented by the committee’s chairman, Samuel Anyanwu, was considered by the lawmakers at plenary.
The Senate according to appeal statement on the court suit NO FHC/ABJ/CS/551/2017 instituted by Ali Ndume, and made available to newsmen by it Chief Counsel/ Head of Chambers, Mike A.A. Ozekhome, in Abuja yesterday challenged jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to entertain the matter on several grounds.
The appeal suit reads as follows; “For the records,the Senate had challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court toentertain the matter on several grounds, portions of which are outlined hereunder for the purpose of emphasis, as follows:
“That the Plaintiff wrongly joined several causes of action in his Originating Summons. “That an action for the enforcement of fundamental rights to fair hearing can only be brought against a court or a tribunal, established by law as held by the Supreme Court in several current cases, and not against Committee of a legislative body.
“That by the provisions of sections 3 and 30 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, the trial court lacked requisite jurisdiction to hear the suit of the Plaintiff.
“The Senate’s argument was supported by various and current decisions of the apex court. The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which has the strong conviction that the decision of the trial court will be overturned by the Court of Appeal, has accordinglyinstructed the law firm of Mike Ozekhome’s Chambers, to file an appeal against the judgment immediately.
“The notice of appeal is ready and would be filed unfailingly by Monday morning. An application for a stay of execution of the orders of the court will also be filed same time.

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