Ali Ndume: Nigerian Senator demanding N500m damages for ‘unlawful’ suspension

The Federal High Court on Wednesday in Abuja commenced hearing in the suit filed by Senator Ali Ndume challenging his suspension by the Nigerian Senate.

The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/551/2017 has the Senate president, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions) as defendants.

The suit is reported to contain demands to be reinstated, salaries and allowances paid and payment of N500 million as damages.

Justice Babatunde Quadri fixed fixed October 13 to rule in the suit after both parties had argued their written addresses.

Marcel Oru, counsel to Mr. Ndume, urged the court to grant all his prayers.

Mr. Ndume, an All Progressives Congress member for Borno South, had prayed the court to declare the decision of the respondents null and void.

He also prayed for the order of court to compel the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and other principal officers of the senate to relax his suspension without delay.

Mr. Oru urged the court to dismiss the objection filed by the senate challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.
He canvassed further that the respondent lacked such privileges as it action was in violation of the law.

However, Mike Ozekhome, counsel to the senate, urged the court to first decide on his client’s notice of objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to handle the matter.

He asked the court to uphold the objection on the ground that the plaintiff’s suspension was in line with the provision under the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act.

Mr. Ozekhome, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit for being unmeritorious.

Mr. Ndume, representing Borno Central Senatorial District, in the senate filed the suit in response to his suspension on March 30.
He was suspended on disciplinary ground.

He had at plenary drawn the attention of the senate to media report that the invitation of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, was due to seizure of a vehicle illegally imported by Mr. Saraki.

The senate sledge hammer also came down on the plaintiff for spotlighting media report about alleged fake Dino Melaye’s first degree certificate at plenary.

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