A federal high court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, fixed October 13 for judgment in the suit filed by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume to challenge his suspension by the leadership of the Senate.
Justice Babatunde Quadri gave the date after taking arguments from lawyers in the case, including Marcel Oru (representing Ndume) and Mike Ozekhome (SAN) for the Senate.
The court took arguments from parties on the substantive suit and the notice of objection filed by the Senate to challenge the court’s jurisdiction.
In his argument, Mr. Oru urged the court to among others, dismiss the objection by the Senate and grant his client’s prayers because the Senate erred by suspending his client.
Mr. Ozekhome urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit for being unmeritorious. He urged the court to uphold his client’s objection on the ground that the plaintiff’s suspension was in line with the provision under the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act.
Mr. Ndume was suspended by the Senate via a letter dated March 30, 2017 after he drew the Senate leadership’s attention to reports in the media that the Senate’s invitation of the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, was due to seizure of a vehicle imported for the Senate president, Bukola Saraki and the controversy over Dino Melaye’s educational qualifications.
The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/551/2017 has the Senate president, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions) as defendants.
Mr. Ndume argued that his suspension was intended by the Senate leadership to get back at him for merely raising questions about issues relating to the conduct of privileged individuals in the Senate.