UPDATED: Why Senate suspended former leader Ali Ndume

Senator Ali Ndume

The Senate has suspended Ali Ndume, its former leader, who had asked for investigation of allegations of importing a bullet proof range rover with fake documents involving Senate President Bukola Saraki and that of perjury involving Dino Melaye.

The Senate reached the decision, Wednesday, after the resolution to uphold the recommendation of the committee on ethics and privileges chaired by Samuel Anyanwu.

He was suspended for six months, instead of one year originally recommended by the ethics committee.

Mr. Anyanwu, whose committee convened investigative hearing on the two matters on Monday, reported that Mr. Ndume failed to conduct proper investigation before making “the allegations”.

But during the investigative hearing, Mr. Ndume told the committee he did not make allegation or raise a petition against the duo of Mr. Melaye and Mr. Saraki but only raised the issues, having read them in the newspaper.

Last week, Mr. Ndume had said the matters had made the Senate subject of public ridicule, thereby calling for probe.

“When we see anything against another Senator, we must bring it to the floor of the Senate before making hurtful statement,” said Barau Jibrin in his contribution before the vote was taken.

Messrs Saraki and Melaye were cleared of any wrongdoing in the matters.

But the committee absolved Mr. Saraki of any culpability in respect of the car imported with fake documents and seized by the Nigeria Customs Service.

Mr. Anyanwu said the car importer and dealer confirmed Mr. Saraki or the Senate was not involved in the importation of the vehicle in 2015, and that the allegation against Mr. Saraki was made up.

On Mr. Melaye whose claim to an Ahmadu Bello University degree was questioned, Mr. Anyanwu said the Vice-Chancellor of the institution confirmed the Kogi West Senator graduated from ABU in 2000.

Mr. Anyanwu further reported that Mr. Melaye tendered his statement of result and National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate which he obtained in 2001, having started in 2000.

The committee therefore recommended that Mr. Ndume be suspended for one year, that is 181 legislative days.

But two Senators pleaded for a lesser punishment.

Abubakar Yusuf said Mr. Ndume had done “a wrong” to Messrs. Melaye and Saraki; and suggested that the former Senate Leader be suspended from committee activities, not plenaries, and that he should be asked to apologise to the accused who were his allies in the struggle to win the Senate leadership at the expense of Ahmed Lawan, backed by the All Progressives Congress.

Matthew Urhoghide moved for six-month suspension, instead of one year.

Mr. Urhoghide’s position eventually became the resolution of the Senate.

Mr. Saraki, who initially presided over Wednesday’s sitting, yielded the seat to Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu when the proceedings progressed to the consideration of the probe committee’s report.


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  • Public Interest Group [P.I.G]

    Premium Times Editor,

    Point of Order on Senator Ali Ndume’s suspension

    The Senate
    suspension of Ali Ndume for six (6) months is a miscarriage of justice. There is
    nothing illegal in reporting a matter of public interest to the Senate. There
    was no formal bill of attainder tendered in draft and requested as a resolution
    by Senator Ali Ndume. The presiding office, Senator Ike Ekweremadu took the
    decision to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee for investigation, indicating
    that Senator Ali Ndume’s oral report was neither frivolous nor baseless at
    first impression. There was a quorum of Senators seated – anyone of whom
    could have raised objection to Senator Ndume’s oral report or objected to the
    ruling for referral to Senate ethics committee for investigation.

    No Senator
    seated in chambers did. So, how could Ali Ndume take personal responsibility
    for the Senate’s own plenary decision? It makes no sense. A honest Senator in
    Nigeria – if there’s any – who does not want to suffer similar arbitrary treatment
    in future should tomorrow move a motion to rescind this highly illiterate order of
    suspension. It is not in the public interest – particularly because the Senate has
    no jurisdiction whatever to decide if a valid certificate was lawfully issued to DINO
    MELAYE in compliance with the statute of Ahmadu Bello university – meaning that
    no allegation (if any) was afterall disproved by the idling Senate Ethics Committee
    which though conducted some investigation into the matter, but without any legal
    jurisdiction to decide the ultimate truth. Ali Ndume’s suspension order must thus
    be cancelled forthwith on point of law.

    • Company man

      PIG please help us to bring Ndume back.

  • disqus_jL5XRYDhuX

    Nigeria is DOOMED, and there is absolutely no way we can progress with these type of people (I use this lightly) leading the country.

    • Olukayode

      Nigeria is really in a precarious situation. I am beginning to wonder if these senators would not bring our democracy to its untimely end

  • persona

    Did the senate suspend Melaye for saying he would rape a female senator on the same floor of the senate and he said, nothing will happen?
    Did the senate suspend Melaye when he accused MTN of ferrying funds thus reading from a newspaper on the same floor of the senate?
    Did the senate deem it proper to ensure that the senate president sitting for trial be suspended till after his trial?
    Nigerians, the power to recall these people remain with us, we cant keep coming here to complain daily, we either use it or lose it.

    • Harry

      Did the senate suspend Remi Tinubu for throwing caution to the wind and calling a fellow senator a Dog on the same floor of the senate?

      • persona

        So, why is Ndume suspended?
        If two sets of laws exist, then where are we headed?
        Recall that as long as we practice democracy, the same may happen to someone you support and na so everyone go siddon look.
        The beauty of doing the right thing is this, it goes full circle.

        • Harry

          Ndume is a mole in the Senate. He has become a tool against the senate because he was unceremoniously shoved off the Senate leadership position. He is only agrieved and rightly expunged from the assembly.

          • persona

            So, when you make the attention of your mates to a publication, you are a mole?
            When you choose to exercise your free will, you are a mole?
            When you choose to reason or play a different game, you are a mole?
            Moles are usually game players and clearly, if you show your hand, you are not or no longer a mole. Moles are always discovered and not that they submit themselves.
            The senate has not done itself any favor, Nigerians have seen them as a band of bandits and they are pushing their luck too far.

      • Onike24

        So calling someone a dog means that the Person should threaten you with Rape? Really? On the floor of the senate?

  • persona

    When the HOR guy complained about budget padding, he was suspended. Ndume has made observations, he is suspended.
    Truth is, Buhari, I guess you can keep working with those that will ensure you make no progress?
    You assumed Tinubu was the enemy, you embraced Oyegun and Saraki against those that will give you peace.
    You are now a lame duck and please enjoy it. Saraki is not going to let you rule, he will rule over you.
    Better sack those needed and get your presidency back, Aisha told you the truth, you now have less than 2 years to make anything good out of your presidency. Your traducers spend time using your docility as gym equipment. Baba go slow has become baba siddon look.

    • DanielOsazuwa

      21 gun salute to you. GBOSA!!!!

      Seriously, the Senate might as well do is a favor by impeaching the “Baba siddon look” because he is completely absent in his government.

      • persona

        I have said this my brother, Buhari is simply saving himself because he knows he will need to travel soon and need to write to these guys and they can make moves while he’s out.
        The challenge however is this, Senate will never sack Buhari because they don’t want VP there which by extension will have Tinubu as a better player dealing with them.
        Saraki knows this and he is just shifting boundaries to clinch the PDP ticket as a worthy opponent to Buhari.
        All these gra gra is nothing and by far going nowhere.
        Buhari knows how to pivot to make most of these guys disappear but when he’s better in health, then he will act as supposed.

  • El Patron

    There is no hope

  • Ukpaka

    NIGERIA is dead!
    I’ve always said these so-called senators work for themselves, not for the people.
    Melaye, Saraki and a few crooks in the senate are now the law. Buhari need to use OBJ playbook and go after these crooks. They act as opposition senate than majority APC. They’re also recruiting other senators from PDP so they can have the number to put whoever they want come 2019.
    The executive must act and act decisively. My hope for this country is waning!.

    • Julius

      I agree and look at the people suspending another Senator. Shameful !

    • Infoezone Infoezone

      Is the executive any better. Why is the grasscutter sgf still on seat. Abeg leave matter

  • SteveOMarcus

    Saraki is turning out to be more powerful and commands more loyalty than Buhari nowadys. Buhari should watch his back!

  • Gary

    Six months is an overkill and just a month would have sufficed to send Ndume a message against using parliamentary privilege to smear colleagues with frivolous allegations.

    This is the same man who has vehemently protested his innocence from accusations that he was an early sponsor of Boko Haram; despite evidence in the public domain linking him to the founders of the Jihadi terrorist.
    His colleagues replace him as majority leader and he then constitutes himself as a one-man opposition to undermine his own party and the Senate as an institution.
    Please Senators, recall him after a month by which time he would have learned his lesson that the individual is not nighter than the institution.

    Nobody should be gagged from exposing malfeasance but get your facts right before embarking on character assassination of your colleagues.

  • oludare ishola

    this is not democracy

  • Harry

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. The leaky mouth Boko Haram sponsor should have been suspended till 2019

  • Opekete

    Saraki is going to depose Buhari from Aso Rock one day. Mark my word

    • Onike24

      Going to? Bukola Saraki has exhibited Presidential Powers, ki lo ku?

  • JP

    Sorry Ndume let your friends from outside the senate bring you back.

  • Bright Henry

    Saraki will defeat Bulgari in 2019 if he contests. He commands more follpwership and loyalty than the President. So all the APC senators stood bye and qatched this shot hapen. I dare ask who is Buhari’s loyal senator? The President had better wake up.

    • Ola

      Bright Henry if you tally all the votes of Senators in the National Assembly , it is not up to half of the millions of votes garnered by Buhari in the Presidential Election.

      Saraki can never beat Buhari in an open Presidential Election.

    • wode

      You assume that we are still in the age when the votes don’t count. You would be surprised that most of the Senators themselves would lose their seats. The age is that of the ballot, not that of rigging any more. Have you forgotten 2015 just in a hurry? Don’t be deceived that even all the senators are sincerely with Saraki. They are all silent because of what they want to eat!

      • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

        this is the kind of hope that keeps us on this rotten path…..the age of ballot my foot. Na who ballot help?

  • vay

    It is now official that the Senate are fantastically corrupt in every ramifications

  • Nkem

    See how criminals do solidarity to protect criminals interests. Yet Nigerians cannot unite to make these people pay for their iniquities. When Jibirin blew the whistle against these crooks he was left to bear his cross alone against the criminals in the House. Now Ndume has met the same fate for raising legitimate questions about the integrity of the leadership of a rabidly corrupt Senate. In other countries the citizens will mobilise to support and encourage those with the courage to blow the whistle on a very corrupt institution. In Nigeria we can only rave and rant on the internet, in the comfort of our anonymity. I don’t know how we expect our country to come out of the present rot with this kind of attitude.

    • Gary

      Sorry, you seem to be doing the ranting here. Please remind us of evidence adduced by either Jibrin or Ndume to substantiate their tendentious charges.

      You don’t shout “fire” in a crowded theatre and turn around to say you were merely exercising your freedom of speech. It is irresponsible to take the floor to allege or repeat unfounded allegations against fellow legislators with whom you are disaffected.
      That is what the two men did, other than grandstanding to gain the support of the gullible public.

      It doesn’t take much these days to preen as an anti-corruption crusader. Even by a Boko Haram sponsor.

      • Karl Imom

        I disagree with your thesis. Allegations are just allegations. They are NOT facts, hence the call for investigation to find out what are the facts. What is wrong with trying to find out whether there is truth in the allegations? It is totally idiotic of the senate to expect Sen. Ndume to do his own investigation before calling for a Senate investigation into the allegations. He definitely wouldn’t need the Senate investigation if had the power and capacity to get to the facts by himself. In every civilized society, the call for investigation into allegation by itself is NOT a crime, rather it is a civil procedure to get to facts. Why criminalize an innocent person? When the VC came to the committee, why did they NOT ask him to produce Dino Melaye’s transcripts to show that he completed all degree course requirements? No one should take a fall for Dino Melaye’s incapacity to get an undergraduate degree a simple area such a s geography. Saraki is a known thief, no one needs any more proof for that.

        • Gary

          Ndume went to the floor of the Senate to raise charges against his colleagues based on what he read on news blogs. You cannot use the floor of the parliament to publish or spread defamation. Thst is an abuse of forum and parliamentary privilege. Especially when it is obvious that Ndume had an axe to grind with the leadership of his party thst had removed him as Majority Leader.
          You people must learn to separate personalities from principles.

          The Senate is not Saraki’s private property. He can be removed if a majority of the chamber so decides. Does anyone still remember David Mark today? He’s there still but a bench warmer now unseen and unheard of even as his Benue people are under armed assault from invading Fulani herdsmen.
          Nobody must be allowed to trample upon the institutions of our government for democracy to thrive in Nigeria.

          Ali Ndume does not have a right to impugn the characters of colleagues he disagrees with. He openly accused the Senate President of engaging in criminality without any evidence only to turn round to say he read that on Sahara Reporters. Would he, while Majority Leader, have countenanced a floor charge for a Senate probe of his links to Boko Haram based on media reports?

          • Onike24

            There is something called Parliamentary Privilege which means you cannot slander anyone in Parliament.

          • Gary

            Yes, that privilege does not cover breaching decorum and respect for the hallowed chamber and its leadership. This why legislators are censured and sanctioned when they engage in undignified or ad hominem language amongst themselves. Such as in the shameful Remi Tinubu-Dino Melaye spat that should have had the offenders thrown out of the Senate; in a civilized country.
            No legislator can cite privilege to openly defame the Senate President on the floor of the chamber and merely cite that he read such on a news blog.
            Bukola Saraki might be the Devil’s spawn in the eyes of many but his own colleagues, across party lines elected him first among equals. And almost two years after, he retains their confidence and loyalty to the chagrin of the many braying his downfall.
            I am less concerned about the man Saraki than I am about what he represents as the leader of an institution of our representative democracy and like it or not, third in line in succession to the Presidency.
            Nothing I have said about the man is news to those who actively courted Saraki to help the APC emerge as the governing party. Only for them to turn round now to pillory him for advancing his political ambition to become Senate President.
            They have so far failed to break the unusually strong coalition he’s built with his colleagues so they now want us to go along with destroying an institution of our government just for the sake of getting rid of Bukola Saraki. Mba, not gonna happen.

          • Onike24

            It is either Parliamentary privilege exits or it does not; you cannot be half pregnant! How was Dino who threatened to commit a criminal offense of rape censured? A violent criminal act? Or do we only censure those that bring allegations we don’t like? Now more Fundamental is the fact that our senate cannot brazenly disobey legal Precedence, the courts have said ad nauseum that you cannot suspend a representative because to do so would be to leave his constituents without a voice, which is the whole purpose of representative democracy. Again, I reiterate that you cannot defame anyone in Parliament, it is a fundamental principle of representative democracy, what should have been done is the withdraw the whip from Ndume, which means he no longer occupies an APC seat, forcing a by election. We cannot continue to act with impunity in the legislature; it is imperative that we learn to do things properly! As for Saraki, Perfidiousness has a price that will ultimately be paid, his end has been written and history has demonstrated that anyone with Fides only to himself, will eventually pay the Price. Lastly, show me the Provision in the constitution that allows a senator to be suspended? Shame on us

          • Gary

            The doctrine of separation of powers bars judicial interference in the running and operations of the legislature. So I’ll ask that you please cite the judicial ruling that states that the NASS cannot sanction or discipline an erring legislator by the rules of either chamber. We your assertion true Jubrin would have gone straight to court to overturn the one/year suspension from the House.
            The legislature cannot bar an elected legislator from taking his seat but it is a totally different thing from suspension or even expulsion for gross violations of House or Senate rules after due process.

          • Onike24

            Unfortunately, I simply don’t have the time to look for and cite Judicial sources, but it was when the Demeji Bankole led house attempted to suspend some members which incidentally included Dino or Daniel….

          • Gary

            The facts support my position as we have a current precedent. A House member is currently serving a one year suspension and the courts have been unable to help him reverse that decision because they cannot interfere in the internal affairs of the legislature. Same principle applied to the spurious charge of forging Senate Rules brought against Saraki and his deputy.
            I know it’s tough for you seeking your preferred outcomes, but Nigeria is currently operating a constitutional democracy and not authoritarian rule.

          • Onike24

            We are not a constitutional democracy not in the slightest.

          • Onike24

            The matter is called House of Assembly V Hon Dina

          • Karl Imom

            Thank you.

          • Karl Imom

            Parliamentary privileges are NOT superior to constitutional provisions of how the country should be run. Once matters end up in courts, they are beyond the jurisdiction of the senate. Therefore, the senate should have dropped the matter the day Dino Melaye went to court.

          • Onike24

            I didn’t even consider that obvious point. You are quite right.

          • Karl Imom

            You have agreed that the allegations were already in the Press, suggesting that Ndume did NOT come up with the allegations to smear anybody and since the matter was already taken to court by Dino Melaye, the Senate would have deferred it to the court because the senate has NO constitutional powers to punish anybody on matters that are pending in courts. Once Melaye went to court, the senate committee would have halted its investigation into the matter. Now, what if the court rules that Melaye did not graduate from Ahmadu Bello University as alleged by Sahara Reporters? Will the senate appropriately compensate Ndume for damages caused to him by the malicious punishment and deprivation of his senatorial district of lawful representation in the Senate? Nigerian constitution supersedes any parliamentary privileges; once this case went to court, the senate lost jurisdiction over it.

          • Gary

            Ndume, Mr. Boko Haram himself, demanded a probe of allegations against a colleague and the Senate President for bringing opprobrium upon the chamber. All over something he read on a news blog that engages in defamatory journalism.
            Ndume wasn’t the only one who reads SR in the Senatw but he felt exercised enough to demand a formal probe of the allegations about which he had no insight nor additional evidence to ascertain the veracity.
            That was an open challenge to the integrity and authority of the leadership of the Senate. Those accused submitted themselves to the questioning of the Ethics Committee as requested by Ndume.
            But Ndume’s only contribution to the probe he demanded was that he read the allegations on Sahara Reporters.

            Those involved in the importation of the vehicle later clarified that the Senate President had no hand in the transactions. Ditto for Dino, as the ABU Vice-Chancellor clarified that he had indeed been awarded a first degree.

            So you folks expect no consequences if you call for a probe of your boss or even troop leader in the Boys Scout or Army? Based on something you read in the media? Seriously!

            Don’t know about you but I was raised to protect my honour and integrity from malicious accusation. Call me a thief and be prepared to receive a bloody nose.

          • Karl Imom

            It does not matter who demanded for the probe, the allegations were already in public domain, and the senate, one way or the other, had to investigate it because it involved one of their members. But as soon as the matter was taken to court, the senate lost jurisdiction over it and should have halted their investigation because at that point it became clear that the only valid ruling to the controversy will come from the court rather than the senate. It regularly happens here in the United States – once the matter gets to courts, congress drops its investigations into it. Nigeria copied her constitution from the United States, so they should be doing the same thing. You selectively failed to answer my question: If the court finally rules that, Dino Melaye did not graduate from ABU, wil the Senate compensate Sen. Ndume for the malicious punishment and for the criminal deprivation of his senatorial constituency of lawful representation in the senate? This senate that is lead by a thief and top criminal in the person Saraki does not know what it is doing.

          • Gary

            The court cannot rule that Dino did not graduate when the school authority vested with that decision has ruled that he did. That matter was foreclosed by the sworn testimony in the ABU VC.
            So you cannot make something out of nothing from the hypotheticals you have presented. And please note that Dino’s is suing for defamation so the legislature is not statutorily barred from carrying out its own investigation. Both chambers of the US Congress are simultaneously undertaking separate investigations of Russian interference in the US election; not minding that the FBI is purring a formal criminal investigation.

            There is clear proof of malice in Ali Ndume’s assault on the integrity of his leadership and colleague.
            Please find time to read his presentation on the floor at the Senate plenary. He echoed the tendentious accusations he read on a weblog and DEMANDED a formal probe of the accusations by the Senate.
            It was at his insistence that the issue was referred to the Ethics Committee.

            To wit, Ali Ndume demanded a formal investigation of the Senate President; based on something he read on the web.
            The probe cleared both colleagues of the charges and the Committee then recommended Ali Ndume be sanctioned for making false charges against his colleagues and acting with malice to put the chamber into direpute. And you can see the result of the act of malice by the fact of the reaction on this thread and opprobrium Ali Ndume has caused the institution.

            So it is my considered opinion that the Senate was right on imposing sanctions on him to serve as a deterrence from willfully smearing the reputations of his colleagues out of spite.

      • Onike24

        Gary there is a rule of Administrative law, called ” Nemo Judex in Causa sua” which means you cannot be a judge in your own cause. The so called Judicial and ethics committee has Dino as a member, this very fact means that they are not the competent body to investigate this. Now, neither Ndume nor Jibrin smell of roses,” all have sinned and fall far from the glory of God” to borrow from the Bible; but does this mean that we should never examine with all sense of seriousness any legitimate allegation made by a member of either the Senate or House of Reps? We need to proceed with care, we have a senate that is as impudent as it is corrupt! We are digging a very deep hole for our very very fragile democracy. Lastly, you cannot suspend a member of the senate for to do is to deprive his constituents of their constitutional right, again we have the senate which translates to Elders, breaking the law.

  • SAM .A

    PMB wake up , don’t pretend that democracy is getting rooted in senate , you will wake up one morning a list of impeachable offenses will be rolled out , by this same cabal ,you inadvertently supplied the wine for their power intoxication, they will impeach you . Time for OBJ’s option for cleaning up this senate .

    • thisnigeria

      I cannot say it better!

    • ayo

      Interesting times are here. Saraki and Dino spent the last two years to consolidated their hold on the Senate.

      They dismantled the unity forum, bullied the smaller crooks and offered protection to the Dons.

      They perfected the police system which does not court neutrality nor discordance

      Their knives are now sharp and long, the darkest hours are now upon us.

      They know the citizens are docile and will rather be spectators in their own fight, they will cowardly hide behind a single man urging him on into battle with his flanks wide open.

      They will say he promised to fight for us even when it is obvious the foes are united in strength and interest.

      The Senators will fight dirty because their lives depend on keeping Nigeria in penury.

      The side jesters, the haters the neutrals and the cowards will all be victims of the coming war for the soul of Nigeria.

      We cannot once again reenact the slave era when our people were led like sheeps to the slaughter we must find our voice for the sake of our future generations.

      Democracy is a tree that is watered with the blood of Patriots. Gird your loins Patriots night is upon us

    • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

      If he does you would say he is dictator. Better calm down and enjoy your democracy.

      • aisha ani

        Buhari should at least attempt something, so that we can call him a dictator.

  • Mama Kay

    This is very bad. Asking thieves to investigate fellow thieves. ICPC and EFCC should actually checkmate the honourable thieves in the NASS before they become albatrosses round the neck of the nation.

    • thisnigeria

      They are already.

    • FreeNigeria

      they are already ooooo. This oyibo style of government is not working for black people.

  • wode

    So, Saraki has now become a dictator that nobody can challenge in the floor of the Senate. How can Ndume be suspended when he’s not the one that made the allegation. It’s now obvious that this guy Saraki is up to something. Aren’t there Senators that could protest this to challenge him? Or have they all been cowed by Saraki? I pity Saraki for his gruesome and miserable future which is just around the corner.

    • mongs

      What do you expect from a person who his father the respect Turakin Ilorin has curse so the curse of his father will visit him Insha Allah. All the senators in that red chamber are rugs and they are not suppose to be referred to as distinguished there is nothing distinctive in them all, if they cannot see a point of reasoning with what Ndume babies with all the explainations he made they still went ahead to suspend him for 6month. We shall see if it is the Borno people that elected him or saraki and melaye. Who are the duo that they cannot be questioned for allegations against them.

      • Kassay

        Dun mind the Stupids

  • Ferra Realman

    All days for thief, one day for the owner. What is wrong in somebody seen wrong certain ignominious information about colleagues and call attention? Ironically, Ndume had even save the duo from public ridicule. Later they will call PMB dictator. Nigerians must wake up and chase these executive rogues to where they belong. God bless Nigeria.

  • Rommel

    So Nigerians mean to tell me that we have resolved to allow the few people in the national assembly to use us for football

  • Allen

    Cry my beloved country!