Nigeria’s opposition People’s Democratic Party senator-elects Tuesday backed Ali Ndume, alleged to have links to a man accused of being a spokesman of Boko Haram, for the ninth Senate president.
Ndume was nominated as a candidate for the office of the Senate president by the Isiaku Elijah Cliff, a PDP senator representing Adamawa North nominates, while Mpigi Barinda also a PDP senator representing Rivers South-East seconded the motion.
Ndume, a former majority leader, lost the poll to his party’s, All Progressives Congress, preferred candidate Ahmed Lawan.
In 2011, a PDP-led federal government charged Ndume over suspected links to a man accused of being a spokesman for Islamist sect Boko Haram.
Ndume, who was a PDP member senator then, was charged in magistrate’s court alongside the alleged spokesman, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, with breaching public trust and criminal intimidation.
The charges were later withdrawn and transferred to a Federal High Court.
Ndume pleaded not guilty. Ndume’s four-count terrorism charge was struck-out by the Federal High Court in Abuja on July 4, 2017.
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Also on March 29, 2017, the Nigeria Senate suspended Ndume for six months for not “making due diligence” before filing a petition against the former Senate president Bukola Saraki and the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye.
Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions made the recommendation in its report, which was considered by the lawmakers at the plenary.
Senate had, on March 21, 2017, decided to investigate the allegation that an armoured Range Rover car said to be worth N298m, but which the lawmakers said cost $298,000, seized by the Nigeria Customs Service belongs to the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki.
The move was based on a point of order raised by Ndume, who also called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to investigate the certificate scandal involving Senator Dino Melaye.
Ndume said the seizure of the Sports Utility Vehicle, allegedly belonging to Saraki, was the reason why the Senate was moving against the Controller General of the NCS, Col. Hammed Ali (retd.).
Ndume also alleged that Melaye did not graduate from the Ahmad Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, but was parading a fake certificate.
Ndume had said previous certificate scandals involving members of the National Assembly were probed by the lawmakers.
The former Majority Leader also quoted an online medium with a report titled, ‘Dino Melaye Allegedly Did Not Graduate From University.’
“Therefore, accordingly, I will appeal we refer the matter to Ethics and Privileges to investigate so that our colleagues would be cleared and this Senate will stand as it is supposed to,” he said.