The Federal High Court, Abuja, has declared the suspension of Ali Ndume by the Senate as illegal and ordered that he be paid all his outstanding salaries and allowances.
Justice Babatunde Quadri in his judgment on Friday, set aside the suspension and ordered that Mr. Ndume be allowed to resume his duties in the senate as a senator.
“The suspension of the plaintiff (Ndume) is hereby declared illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional. The purported suspension contained in the letter of March 30 is hereby set aside.
“The first and second defendants (the senate president and the senate) are hereby directed to pay the plaintiff his outstanding salaries and allowances forthwith.”
The judge, however, refused to grant the N500 million damages Mr. Ndume asked the court to award him.
“Relief 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.”
The Senate had on March 30, suspended Mr. Ndume, who was former Majority Leader for 90 legislative days (six months).
Mr. Ndume was suspended for raising a matter that the Senate investigate public allegations of impropriety against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and another senator, Dino Melaye.
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which investigated the matter recommended that Mr. Ndume be suspended for one year.
The report, which was presented by the committee’s chairman, Samuel Anyanwu, was considered by the lawmakers at plenary.
Mr. Ndume was subsequently suspended for six months for “bringing Melaye, his colleague, and the institution of the senate to unbearable disrepute.”
Senator Dino Melaye
Mr. Ndume, not satisfied by the reason given for his suspension, headed to court to challenge the action of the senate.
2020 Finance Bill Exempts Minimum Wage Earners From Tax: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the recently proposed 2020 Finance Bill will exempt workers earning the minimum wage from paying tax.
Buhari disclosed this on Monday in a speech delivered virtually by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the opening session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group Conference themed: “Building Partnerships for Resilience.”
“We are proposing in the new Finance Act that those who earn minimum wage should be exempted from paying income tax,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
“These provisions which complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year will not only further stimulate the economy but are also a fulfilment of promises made to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians.”
Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has revealed that Nigeria would emerge from recession in the fourth quarter of this year or by the first quarter of 2021.
Speaking on Monday at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab said the current recession would be short-lived.
She blamed COVID-19 for the current recession, saying it followed the pattern across the world where many countries had entered an economic recession.
“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth,” Ahmed said.
Court Remands Nigerian Senator, Ali Ndume, In Prison
Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial district has been ordered on Monday by a federal high court to be sent to prison.
The order follows his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, whom he stood as surety for in his corruption and money laundering trial.
The high court, sitting in Abuja was presided over by Justice Okon Abang and ordered Senator Ndume to be remanded in Kuje correctional centre.
Justice Abang, however, gave three conditions upon which Ndume can regain his freedom namely payment of N500m bail bond into the Federation Account of the Federal Government and present evidence of such payment in court or the FG sells the property situated in Asokoro, Abuja which Ndume pledge as security for the bond and present evidence of sale and payment of the N500m realised into the Federation Account or he (Ndume) produces Maina, who is believed to have now jumped bail, in court.
Shortly after the pronouncement by the Judge, Senator Ndume was led away from the courtroom by security operatives.
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