By Vivian Okejeme
Justice Babatunde Quadri of a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, nullified the Senate suspension given to a Senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, Senator Ali Ndume, for 90 legislative days.
The court, ordered the Senate to pay the lawmaker all his outstanding salaries and allowances, but declined to award N500million to Ndume as general, exemplary and aggravated damages.
Chairman of Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu was also cited as a defendant in the suit.
Quadri granted all the reliefs in the suit number, FHC/ABJ/CS/551/2017 except Ndume’s prayer for N500m damages.
He held that he could not also delve into issue bordering on the allegation that the Senate summoned Customs boss to appear before it, owing to seizure of Saraki’s exotic vehicles.
“Questions 2, 3 and 4, are hereby resolved in favour of the plaintiff while question 1 is not determined because I did not consider the issue of breach of Section 39 as I found doing so unnecessary in the circumstances. Consequently, reliefs 2, 3 and 4 are granted .
“The suspension of the plaintiff is hereby declared illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional. The purported suspension contained in the letter of 30th March, 2017 is hereby set aside.
“The 1st and 2nd defendants are hereby directed to pay the plaintiff his outstanding salaries and allowances forthwith .
“However, relief No 5 on the issue of damages is hereby refused because I hope this will facilitate reconciliation in the Senate between the plaintiff and other members of the Senate and bring peace to our nascent democracy and all senators will hold sacrosanct their standing order, rule of rule by extension the Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In this view, I will make no order as to cost”, the Judge added.