Senate Appeals Court’s Decision Setting Aside Ndume’s Suspension


Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Senate on Monday appealed against the judgement of Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court Abuja, which set aside the suspension of Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, from the Senate.

Justice Quadri had in a judgment he delivered on the 10 of November 2017 set aside Ndume’s suspension on the grounds that the action of the upper legislature suspending the Senator representing Borno South Senatorial District was illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The judge, in addition, directed the Senate and its President, to pay to the Ndume his outstanding salaries and allowances with immediate effect.

Not satisfied with the decision of the lower court, the Senate yesterday approached the Court of Appeal to unturn the judgment of the court.

Defendants in the suit who are now appellants include the Senate President; the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria; and Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions).
They anchored their appeal on six grounds and sought three reliefs from the upper court.

The appellants in the notice of appeal filed on their behalf by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), is contending among other grounds, that Justice Quadri erred in law when he held that the right to fair hearing as provided for under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution as altered inures to the respondent against the appellants who are neither courts nor tribunals established by law.

The submitted that the lower court erred in law when it held that the respondent can join several causes of action in one suit.

It was the argument of the debate that Justice Quadri erred in law when he allowed the respondent join the application for enforcement of fundamental rights with that of reinstatement as a senator.

In grounds three, the appellants posited that the trial court erred in law when it held that the court would not interfere with the internal affairs of the legislature except where there is a breach of the fundamental rights of a citizen, the basis of which it held that the fundamental rights of the respondent were breached even when there was no evidence of such breach before the court.

They are therefore asking for an order to allow their appeal, as well as another setting aside the judgement of Justice Quadri, delivered on November 10.

The appellant is further praying the appellate court to dismiss Ndume’s suit.
However, no date has been fixed for mention.

The Senate had on March 30, 2017, suspended Ndume, for 90 legislative days for not “conducting due diligence” before filing a petition against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye.

Ndume was indicted “for bringing Senator Dino Melaye, his colleague, and the institution of the Senate to unbearable disrepute.”

Consequently, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, in its report to the Senate recommended that Ndume be suspended for 180 days.

Senator Ndume, not been happy with the decision had dragged the upper legislature to court challenging his suspension from the Senate.

But delivering judgment in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/551/2017, Justice Quadri however set aside the suspension for being illegal, Unlawful and unconstitutional.