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Falana Demands Ningi’s Reinstatement

Bauchi Central’s Senator Ahmed Ningi has formally requested the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, to lift the suspension imposed on him.

In a letter penned by Ningi’s legal representative, Femi Falana (SAN), addressed to Akpabio, it was emphasized that failure to lift the suspension within seven days would prompt legal action against the Senate at the Federal High Court.

The Senate had suspended Ningi for a period of three months on March 12, following his assertion that the 2024 budget had been inflated by N3.7 trillion.

In a media appearance, Ningi had claimed that while the budget approved by the National Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year stood at N25 trillion, the one being implemented by the Presidency was N28.7 trillion.

During the plenary on March 12, the Bauchi senator was called upon by the Senate to substantiate the allegation. After the deliberation, he was sanctioned with a three-month suspension for what senators deemed as an unsubstantiated accusation that tarnished the reputation of the Red Chamber.

Upon the announcement of the suspension, Ningi gathered his belongings and left the Senate floor, acknowledging his colleagues with a wave.

Subsequently, he relinquished his role as the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, with the position filled by Abdulaziz Yar’Adua, an All Progressives Congress Senator representing Katsina Central.

However, after two weeks of his suspension, Ningi, through his legal counsel Falana, argued that the procedure leading to his suspension was flawed.

The letter addressed to the Senate President was received at the Senate President’s office on Wednesday.

In the letter, Falana stated: “On March 9, 2024, our client granted an interview to the BBC Hausa Service on the 2024 Appropriation Act. He expressed his views on the budget of the Federal Government in the exercise of his fundamental right to freedom of speech guaranteed by Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004..”

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