Ndume: Borno Governor Leads Delegation to Plead with Saraki
The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima has led a large delegation of important personalities from the state, to meet with the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to mediate on the six month suspension slammed on former Majority Leader, Ali Mohammed Ndume.
The Governor, who is considered close to Saraki, wants the Senate to be lenient, and reconsider its position on Ndume’s suspension and consider letting him off with lighter sanctions.
The meeting held at about 9pm at the residence of the Senate President on Thursday night.
The delegation comprised of Senator Abubakar Abba Kyari (Borno North), Senator Baba Kaka Garbai (Borno Central), all House of Representatives members from the state, all members of the State House of Assembly, and representatives of traditional rulers.
The visit of such important personalities may influence the Senate President to seek a reconsideration of the matter in the coming days, a source told THISDAY.
“The Governor, because of his closeness to Saraki, knows if anyone can help Ndume, it would be him. So he led the delegation to meet with Saraki. I am not completely sure yet, but it would be hard to ignore such an important delegation of ‘who is who’ in the state, so maybe the Senate may reconsider the matter,” the source said.
“Infact, the Shehu of Borno wanted to come with the delegation, but the governor prevailed on him not to, that he (Kashim) is capable of handling the matter. The Shehu still sent representatives though, so it would be hard to ignore,” he added.
The source disclosed that the governor expressed worry that the state, which is just recovering from the throes of the reign of violence of Boko Haram, would lose some of its representation at the national level, at such a critical time.
“Of course, the governor harped on the fact that they need all hands on deck, to ensure that the rehabilitation of the state remains a priority in national discourse, including the hand of the Senate President. So while not trying to absolve Ndume, or make excuses for his action, he urged that justice be tampered with mercy,” he said.
The former majority leader, who was Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission at the time of his suspension, was on Wednesday slammed with a six month suspension, after the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions found him guilty of failing to conduct due diligence before filing what it described as a frivolous petition against Saraki and Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West).
The committee accused him of dragging the institution of the Senate into disrepute.
Ndume citing an online news medium report which was rehashed by a daily newspaper (not THISDAY), had raised a point of order, noting that the integrity of the Senate was being questioned following the report that the lawmakers were on a vengeance mission against the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hammeed Ali (rtd) due to the siezure of a bullet proof Range Rover Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) allegedly owned by Saraki.
Ndume also noted that the report claimed that Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) did not have a first degree from the Ahmadu Bello University (A.B.U), and urged the Senate to investigate the allegations.
Saraki and Melaye appeared before the committee alongside Vice Chancellor of ABU, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, the car importer, Mr. Tokunbo Akindele, and the dealer, Mr. Olanrewaju Shittu, who cleared them of the allegations.
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