EXCLUSIVE: Why I was removed as Senate Leader, Ndume opens up

Senator Ali Ndume
Senator Ali Ndume

Borno Senator, Ali Ndume, who was removed as Senate Majority Leader on Tuesday, has revealed why he was ousted.

The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, announced Mr. Ndume’s removal shortly before the upper legislative chamber adjourned on Tuesday.

Mr. Saraki read a letter from the All Progressives Congress caucus asking for leadership change.

Mr. Ndume had stepped out of the chamber to observe his early afternoon prayer when Mr. Saraki read the letter.

The APC caucus, Mr. Saraki said, also chose Ahmed Lawan to replace Mr. Ndume.

Mr. Lawan was until his new role the chairman of the Senate committee on defence, a position he assumed after losing the June 2015 senate presidency election to Mr. Saraki.

But speaking exclusively with PREMIUM TIMES hours after his removal on Tuesday, Mr. Ndume said he was removed for insisting that the Senate did not follow the proper procedure before declaring that it had rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mr. Ndume said he insisted that in view of the Senate’s standard procedures and practice, Mr. Magu had not been rejected by the Senate because there was no confirmation hearing for the nominee to defend claims made against him.

“What I said was that for us (Senate) to claim to have a rejected a nominee sent to us by the president, we have to follow the right procedure, and observe our rules,” the senator said.

“The nominee should have been called into the chamber and presented before senators who will then openly vote on whether to accept or reject his or her nomination.

“In the case of Magu, that was not done. We only had a closed-door session and when we emerged the Senate spokesperson claimed that he had been rejected. I had to set the record straight by saying we never rejected the nominee. This is because you don’t accept or reject a nominee at a closed session.

Öur votes and proceedings are there as evidence of my claims.”

Mr. Ndume said the clarification he made unsettled some of his colleagues, who immediately began to plot against him.

“Ï was surprised that such a simple and harmless clarification could rattle and anger some of my colleagues,” he said. I thought it wasn’t a big deal to disagree over issues. I didn’t realise that that simple matter would snowball into a plot to remove me.

“The other day, somebody mentioned to me that the Senate President had commissioned Dino Melaye to collect signatures to remove me. I didn’t pay much attention to the information because I actually thought it was a joke or a rumour.

“I didn’t feel that disagreeing with colleagues, and sharing my understanding of what transpired at our closed session was an offence, grievous enough to cause my removal.”

Messrs. Magu and Ndume hail from the same northeastern state of Borno.

Mr. Magu’s rejection followed a report sent to the Senate by the State Security Service which accused the acting EFCC chairman of corruption.

But there was also another report by the SSS which advised that Mr. Magu be confirmed in view of his sterling performance since he started working in acting capacity.

A senator familiar with the matter said Mr. Ndume especially angered Mr. Saraki when he asked why he guided members to act on the report advising against Mr. Magu’s confirmation, while ignoring the one which urged that he should be cleared for the office.

Mr. Ndume reportedly argued that what the Senate should have done was to call attention to the two security reports, and then ask the president whether to continue with the confirmation process or not.

Meanwhile, Kabiru Marafa, an ally of Mr. Lawan, the new majority leader, hailed the leadership change as “victory for APC”, saying the party had long wanted Mr. Lawan to serve as Senate Leader following the crisis sparked by Mr. Saraki’s emergence.

He told PREMIUM TIMES that there was a caucus meeting on Monday during which the decision to remove Mr. Ndume was taken.

Asked when and where the meeting held, he said he was not present but that a letter said to have been generated there was brought to him to sign before plenary commenced on Tuesday.

Mr. Marafa, who said the APC caucus agreed to allow Bala Na’Allah continue as Deputy Leader, added that he was looking forward to Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, decamping to the ruling party.

“The more the merrier,” he said, adding, “Ekweremadu is my friend, brother, boss and leader and enjoy good working relationship with him.”


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  • Victor

    Lolz. Ekwerenmadu decamp? That would be seismic

    • aisha ani

      Nothing is impossible in this crazy country.

    • The truth will set you free

      Nothing is impossible in this crazy nation of ours.

  • El Patron

    I wonder, will Ndume suddenly realize he now wants to fight corruption in the national assembly and join Jibrin in the fight. Ndume expose the senate and Jibrin the HOR. That would be an interesting movie

    • The truth will set you free


  • Bunduma Mohammed

    Ndume had always fought corruption. Senator Ahmed lawal was corrupt. He was the public account commutttee chairman and refused to discuss audit report but instead collect corruption money from culprits

    • solomon olushola

      They are all criminals no exemption.

  • Bunduma Mohammed

    Senators are nothing but tools in the hand of criminal saraki

  • emmanuel

    Corrupt Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where corruption is a tooth brush

  • Jacky

    Bunch of thieves. Corruption is their meeting point; where party lines are obliterated and they speak the same language with brotherhood, love and fellowship.

    • K.N.T

      @disqus_8VpsjqhlnE:disqus: The mere presence of BUKOLA SARAKI as president of the senate is taboo in the land,
      and an affront to the conscience of honest Nigerians who feel insulted and violated that crime pays.
      The youths of Nigeria have taken up arms ever since Saraki emerged to show disregard for all laws.

      • Foreign News Reel

        “Toyin Ojora-Saraki, the wife of the president of the Nigerian Senate, is a business front
        for her husband, Bukola Saraki. According to documents retrieved from the Mossack Fonseca
        database (Panama) the assets in her name in tax havens are held in trust for Bukola (Saraki),
        Nigeria’s third most powerful official.

        Landfield International Developments –
        a company registered in the British Virgin Islands on April 8, 2014 – had Toyin Ojora-Saraki
        as sole shareholder. But it is apparent that she was a front, because Bukola Saraki has since
        discreetly taken over the company using Longmeadow Holdings, another shell company
        registered in Jersey.

        To effect the take-over, a board meeting of Landfield was purportedly
        held on January 28 2015, where it was agreed that the company be sold to Bukola
        Saraki for more than £3-million. That same day, Toyin Ojora-Saraki wrote to
        Mossack Fonseca informing it that she was transferring the beneficial ownership
        of Landfield to Bukola Saraki and his company.”

        …………..Mail & Guardian

        [April 22nd, 2016]

        • Tijani

          This fake foreign newsreel does not get tired of pasting “Saraki’s wife sold property” all over the place like a tout paid to paste poster on bridge ko? At least the woman was selling property not buying property or is selling property now illegal? After all Nigerians cannot claim that she is spending embassy money to be entertained, unlike some saints that spend embassy money while selling beauty books to state governments that cannot pay workers salaries!

      • sab

        Was Tambuwal’s Speakership of House of Reps a taboo at the time? Was it not same way Tambuwal emerged in 2011 that Saraki emerged in 2015? Did you call Tambuwal’s emergence a taboo then? Didn’t you call it victory for democracy then? So why cry now? What goes around, comes around!

  • Man_Enough

    What an irony! Imagine Saraki the biggest rebel who stabbed the party in the back in a most treacherous manner purporting to be obeying the party in removing his colleague. The reunion of apc and saraki is a coup against the electorate.

    • musa aliyu

      Wallahi. Mtchewww.

    • sab

      What Saraki did was a throw back of what ACN under Tinubu/Lai Mohammed instigated Aminu Tambuwal to do in 2011. Don’t cry or curse, what goes around, comes around. The measure you give, is the same measure you get.

  • Sword of Damocles

    can you people see these animals? Even Sen. Marafa? I guess a hungry man is a man without morals & character. But cant say I am surprised, as this is the CURSE of our fatherland, Bereft of leader & patriots.

  • Saishaliab

    I wonder why Nigerians can stand up to this nonsense by staging peaceful demonstrations against a such selfish acts but instead keep quite and only voice their angst on media forum. The only way to stop these cabals of blood sucking corrupt and greedy folks such as Saraki and cohorts is for Nigerians to stand up to them whenever they commit such acts. It’s time to rise up and reject the corrupt leadership of the senate-period.

  • eshe_70@yahoo.com

    Funny. Saraki became Senate President by sabotaging his fellow APC faithfuls. They were on a meeting with the president elect Saraki organized the election with PDP senators ceding deputy senate president to PDP. Ndume his fellow Muslim went to observe afternoon prayers Saraki removed him as senate majority leader before he finished his prayers. Nigerian democracy is a comedy, a gathering of very corrupt, unconscionable people in Abuja and 36 states of the country

    • ’70

      True talk… very corrupt individuals, how I wish someone could drop a 10 tonne bomb when both houses are sitting, 70% of Nigeria’s problems would the have been solved!

    • Tijani

      Is Lawan a Christian? Or Marafa is a Christian?

    • AlBsure23

      Ignorance is a disease. Ndume was a majority leader in the senate who takes the floor of the senate to address his colleagues about the business of the legislative day. It is this address that is called prayer. Ndume didn’t go anywhere be it mosque or church for prayer during the legislative hours. Be informed please.

      • eshe_70@yahoo.com

        You are clueless. Go and acquaint yourself with how Ndume was ousted by Saraki

        • AlBsure23

          It was said that ignorance is bliss and with you I couldn’t agree more.

    • sab

      Tell the truth as it were. Saraki did not sabotage APC. Instead, it was APC that could not put their house in order, refused to learn or act wisely. PMB before he travelled, had communicated to the Clerk of the National Assembly to inaugurate the NASS on the date. And when APC could not agree on their candidates zoning arrangement, they told themselves lues that PMB was going to meet the party’s NASS members elect same day. Meanwhile, PMB just returned from France that morning and it was obvious he never scheduled a meeting nor had time to attend one. Rather than impress on Buhari to communicate to the Clerk of NASS to postpone the inauguration date to enable sort themselves out, they trooped to International Conference Center ICC for a meeting that was never scheduled and which was never held. APC were even lucky that PDP did not take all the key positions on that day. So blame not Saraki but APC. Hope the have learnt from that.

  • My guess has just been confirmed by Ndume. Corruption is in deed fighting back.

  • ’70

    Ndume should remain calm, they will not last for sure!

  • Tijani

    Buhari has dumped Ndume the boko haram senator that claimed chibok girls stayed in his house while the whole of nigeria and the world was searching for them. He should follow Magu to DSS so that Magu can clear himself of corruption allegations, rather than shout on the Internet.

    • A.A.Ace


      Can Premium Times give me like a whole page to say my mind about this useless Muhamadu Buhari regime?

      The Buhari government is a real bastard. We cannot sleep since December 24th, 2016. No electricity for fan,
      no cold water to drink, food has spoilt in the fridge, darkness everywhere and armed robbers are jumping into
      our compound at night. This Buhari and his useless APC must be condemned as the worst government

      Nigeria has ever had in this world.

      • F.T Oke

        Don’t worry @Ace,
        The world is a stage. Everyone comes in and plays his role. After that one must quit the stage.
        Muhamadu Buhari has come on stage. He has played the worst ever role in human history.
        He has destroyed almost everything from trust to faith in the country he claims to govern.
        Soon he will leave the stage. But I agree with you that he will leave tons of ruins behind.

        • Jaycee007



          • D. Lawson


            When the few honest and exceptional Yoruba
            intellectuals alerted several years ago the public that Raji Fashola is a
            dunce the rest of the country did not listen. And now that Rsji Fashola as
            Electricity Minister has thrown the entire country into total darkness for
            weeks without end, does any Nigerian need convincing again?

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  • Burning Spear

    if God has not allowed Bingo Buhari to be disgraced and regarded as a curse to the Nation some animals would have told us from their base in Osun state that Buhari was better than Awo———And——-it seems as if the Yorubas have not learnt their lessons in life—–Despite the way the Fulanis killed Akintola—-ati MKO abiola and his wife–Kudirat—-they still want the fulanis to stay in power————via atiku again—Ndume was a curse to the Apes in APC—–given the role he played with his Fulani brothers in boko haram killing Kanuris-for the Fulanis—————————————–The truth of the matter is that the Fulanis and their Yoruba errand boys have failed Nigerians–they should as a matter of fact ship out as soon as they can

  • Ijeuwa

    The plot against Magu thickens and corruption continues to win, making a mockery of Buhari’s purported fight against corruption.

    • Kelly

      So you are falling for these political specialists??

      • Deansmart

        So tell us different reason he was removed apart from reason given above by the senator

      • Ijeuwa

        Stay tuned!

  • Kelly

    Ndume has started singing a familiar song, once you are removed, the reason will be that ” am fighting corruption while they are not” forgetting that yesterday he was still part of the “they”. These guys really know that a larger percentage of Nigerians are fools and they are using it very well.