I have no powers to reverse Ndume’s suspension, says Saraki

Mohammed Ali Ndume

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, yesterday said he has no power to reverse the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume from the Senate.

The embattled lawmaker representing Borno South Federal Constituency was recently suspended for six months by the upper legislative chamber for not ‘making due diligence’ before asking the upper Chamber to investigate the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye.

Fielding questions from State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Saraki said he lacked the powers to facilitate a recall of Ndume, saying the suspension was a collective decision of the parliament.

Asked whether the visit of the Borno State governor, Kassim Shetima to him at the weekend on behalf of Ndume would make him to reconsider his position, Saraki said it was not in his place to decide.

“We should try and understand how the parliament works. I wish I had such powers.

“The President or Speaker is first among equals, they are just presiding officers but unfortunately you know the legislative arm is the youngest, people don’t understand.

“People give us the powers that we have, decisions that are taken in plenary is decision of all but I have a role to be able to convey the message,” Saraki said.

The Senate President said he was at the Presidential Villa to brief President Buhari on sundry issues including the 2017 budget and the passage of electronic voting among others.

He said that the National Assembly would soon pass the budget.

He also denied any face-off between the legislative and the executive arms of government.

He however described the committee set up by the presidency to interface with the National Assembly on the rejection of Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC amongst others as a welcome development.

Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said that the conflict between the legislature and the executive was an inevitable occurrence in a democracy.

Meanwhile, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, Kingsley Chinda, says the rules of the House specifically empower members to kick out an erring member beyond the two weeks that were earlier provided in the House statute.

Therefore, to show how serious the House views disloyalty, members had to amend the rules.

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