President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki has said that it is beyond the confines of his powers to unilaterally rescind the Red Chamber’s decision to suspend Senator Ali Ndume, the embattled lawmaker representing Borno South federal constituency.
Saraki also denied any face-off between the Legislative and the Executive arms of government.
The Nigerian Senate last Wednesday suspended the former majority Leader, Ndume, for six months for not ‘making due diligence’ before asking the upper Chamber to investigate both the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye.
Ndume had alleged that Saraki bought a jeep without paying Customs duties and that Senator Dino Melaye was not a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, ABU.
His suspension followed the adoption of a recommendation made in a report by the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges.
Fielding questions from State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors in the Presidential Villa on Monday, Saraki said he lacked the powers to facilitate Ndume’s recall, saying the suspension was a collective decision of the parliament.
Asked whether the visit of the Borno State governor, Kassim Shetima to him (Saraki) at the weekend on behalf of Ndume would make him 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 these, powers you give me I wish I had them.
“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 this powers that we have, decisions that are taken in plenary is a decision of all but I have a role to be able to convey the message.
“I will convey the message of the visit of the Governor of Borno. And the Senate is one, sub committees…we are all one family. There will be issues like that, there is nothing that is sacrosanct or rigid,” Saraki said. (The Guardian)