Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Senate suspends Ndume over petition against Saraki, Melaye
The Senate today, Wednesday suspended former Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, for six months over what it refers as wrong petition against the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki and lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye.
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions made the recommendation in its report, which was considered by the lawmakers at the plenary before suspending the senator.
The Senate had, on March 21, 2017, decided to investigate the allegation that an armoured Range Rover car said to worth N298m, but which the lawmakers said cost $298,000, seized by the Nigeria Customs Service belongs to the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki.
The move was based on a point of order raised by Ndume, who also called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to investigate the certificate scandal involving Senator Dino Melaye.
An online news portal, Sahara Reporters, which made the allegation in a report published on March 18, 2017, said the seizure of the Sports Utility Vehicle, allegedly belonging to Saraki, was the reason why the Senate was moving against the Controller General of the NCS, Col. Hammed Ali (retd.).
The medium reported that the car was intercepted and impounded on January 11, 2017, by the service for allegedly having fake documents.
Sahara Reporters had also in another report alleged that Melaye did not graduate from the Ahmad Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, but was parading a fake certificate.
Ndume had said previous certificate scandals involving members of the National Assembly were probed by the lawmakers.
The former Majority Leader also quoted an online medium with a report titled, ‘Dino Melaye Allegedly Did Not Graduate From University.’
“Therefore, accordingly, I will appeal we refer the matter to Ethics and Privileges to investigate so that our colleagues would be cleared and this Senate will stand as it is supposed to,” he said.
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary on that day, referred the matter to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which was asked to report back to the lawmakers in four weeks.