Former Senate majority leader, Muhammed Ali Ndume, has been placed on a six-month suspension with effect from yesterday. But the upper chamber absolved its President, Bukola Saraki and Dino Melaye of allegations of purchase of vehicle with fake documents and certificate forgery.
When it was time to consider the report of the Sam Anyanwu-led committee, Saraki, who had been presiding over the session suddenly stepped down from his seat to allow his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, preside over the consideration of the report. The Senate president said he could not preside over the matter because it was his fate that was about to be decided.
The sanction against Ndume is an indication of disharmony among the lawmakers which could hamper the making of laws for good governance of the country. The upper chamber said it suspended Ndume “for bringing Melaye, his colleague and the institution of the Senate to unbearable disrepute at this time of our national life, when caution, patriotism, careful consideration and diligence should be our watchword.”
The Senate also stated that it reached its conclusion because having failed to cross-check facts before presentation at plenary, Ndume could not be said to be a patriotic representative of the Senate, and should be penalized to serve as deterrent.
Ndume’s suspension followed the adoption of the report of the Ethics Committee of the Senate which investigated the alleged purchase of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with inaccurate customs duty payments by Saraki. The Anyanwu-led committee also investigated the alleged certificate forgery against Melaye.
Clearing Melaye, the committee submitted that he obtained a first degree in Geography from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Ekweremadu said: “I believe that lessons have been learnt from this and that going forward, we should try as much as possible to investigate matters before we make allegations or before we call the attention of the Senate of the country to those allegations. I do believe that the committee has done a good job.”