Senate spokesperson denies Ndume was given cold reception

OrderPaperToday – The Senate spokesperson, Senator Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger) has insisted that Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) was well received by the Senate following his resumption of duty and entrance into the Senate chamber yesterday.

Senator Sabi made this assertion while fielding questions from journalists during a press conference on Thursday.

A reporter asked the Senate spokesperson why Senator Ndume was not accorded a warm reception by the Senate on Wednesday.

Senator Sabi while responding to the question said: “He came back and went round to greet people (Senators), did you see anybody turning his face not to receive his handshake?

“How do you show you have missed a friend than a very good handshake? Did you expect us to stand up and clap for him as he came in? I don’t know what your definition of warm reception is”

In respect to the request made by Senator Ndume for a fresh minute silence in honour of late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who died while he (Ndume) was away, the Senate spokesperson clarified that such a request is not in accordance with the rules of the Senate.

“A matter that has already been taken and concluded can never be taken except by a fresh motion which will be done by the leave of the Senate.

“This is a very simple thing, he just wanted to express that he missed that period when we stood up to do our one minute silence and he wanted to have his own, unfortunately the rule did not permit.”

Furthermore, Senator Sabi insisted that there were no hard feelings towards the returning Senator, explaining that “when you punish your child, it does not mean that you hate your child.

“That a teacher punishes a student does not amount to the fact that he is a wicked person. In most instances people who receive punishment turn out to be better. I want to assure you that you will see a better Ndume.”

Senator Ndume was suspended for 90 legislative days on Wednesday, 29th March, 2017 for not “making due diligence” before filing a petition against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi) thereby bringing “the institution of the Senate to unbearable disrepute.”

However, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja last Friday annulled Senator Ndume’s suspension and ordered his immediate reinstatement.

In addition, the court ruled that Ndume be paid all outstanding salaries and allowances. The court’s judgement coincided with the completion of the Senator’s suspension period and he accordingly resumed on Wednesday, 15th November, 2017.

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