Budget padding: I am not responsible for Ningi’s suspension, Akpabio responds. Falana

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Godswill Akpabio, the Senate President, has stated that he is not responsible for Bauchi Central Senator Abdul Ningi’s suspension due to suspicions of budget padding.

Ningi had asked for his suspension to be lifted through his lawyer, Femi Falana.

Ningi has warned that if his suspension is not removed within seven days, he will file legal action against the Senate President, claiming that the procedure that led to his suspension was defective.

According to the cozmato, Ningi was suspended by the Senate on March 12 for three months after reporting that the 2024 budget was bloated by almost N3.7 trillion.

However, Akpabio’s counsel, Umeh Kalu, SAN, in a letter to Falana headlined ‘Re: Request to Lift the Suspension of Sen. Abdul Ningi’, emphasized that the Senate President was not responsible for Ningi’s suspension.

The letter read: “We are attorneys for Sen. Godswill Akpabio and are writing at his request on the aforementioned subject matter.

“Your letter of March 27, with the following description, has been referred to us with instructions to respond thereto.

“We have carefully reviewed your analysis of the facts and circumstances that led to your client’s suspension from the Senate.

“We do not see any basis in your decision to hold our client solely responsible for the suspension. As a result, we file a non est factum motion on behalf of our client.

“In addition to the foregoing, and contrary to the contents of your letter under reference, our client was never your client’s accuser, prosecutor, or judge.”

“Our client’s role during the Senate session that resulted in your client’s suspension was and continues to be the statutory responsibility of a Legislative House Presiding Officer.

“Which function also entails announcing the majority decision of the Legislative House at the conclusion of debate and voting.

“Please allow us to mention your attempt to attract our client’s attention to legal authorities and statements of our Courts of Record regarding the unconstitutionality of suspending Legislative House members.

“Which attempt we dare argue was futile because you failed or refused to make available the key details of the aforementioned Court decisions in your letter.

“You may wish to cite the legal authorities to which you have alluded, keeping in mind that every court decision is based on the unique facts, circumstances, and existing legislation.

“It may not be necessary to discuss all of the remedies open to our client in response to your threats of a court action and a petition to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).

“It is crucial to note that parliamentary proceedings are governed by rules.

“We urge you to give due consideration to the legal issues raised in this letter and be guided accordingly in your further and future action in respect of this matter.”Sule responds.

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