Senate President Bukola Saraki says he does not have the power to reverse the suspension of of Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south.
The upper legislative chamber suspended Ndume for six months over the controversies that shook the senate recently.
Ndume had asked the senate to investigate the allegation that Saraki was harassing Hameed Ali, comptroller general of customs, over the seizure of a vehicle belonging to him, while Dino Melaye, lawmaker representing Kogi west, was alleged to have forged his academic certificate.
The senate committee on ethics and privileges subsequently cleared both men of the allegation and recommended the suspension of Ndume.
Speaking with state house correspondents at the end of a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Saraki has distanced himself from the disciplinary measures taken against Ndume.
Asked if the suspension would be reversed, especially after the intervention of a high-powered delegation from Borno visited him to plead on their son’s behalf, Saraki said he did not have the power to recall Ndume.
“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,” he said.
“The president of the senate or the 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 decision of all but I have a role to be able to convey the message, I will convey the message of the governor of Borno who came to see me to the senate.
“The senate is one, we are all one family there will be issues like that, there is nothing that is sacrosanct or rigid.”
He said the relationship between legislature and executive is cordial, advising the people not to misinterpret the rejection of some appointees of Buhari.
“It is cordial, you cannot examine it based on NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission) or based on EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), we have other issues,” he said.
“We have ministerial issues that we are going to be working on, we have the budget that is more important, we have the issue of electoral act, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). We have so many important things and I think it’s a mixture of all that should guide us, don’t let us over heat the polity on some of these issues.”
Saraki also said the house of assembly had made progress on the budget, and that Buhari had been briefed.
“We are working on it, just to let the president know how far we have gone with it. We are on course as you note last week we did ask all the sub committees to submit their reports to appropriation, all that has been done now. It’s now collation and review then hopefully it will be passed very soon.