Senator Ali Ndume has explained why he was removed as Senate Majority Leader by senators of All Progressive Congress, APC on Tuesday.
The Borno senator’s removal was announced by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, shortly before the upper legislative chamber adjourned plenary.
Saraki had read a letter from the APC caucus asking that Ndume be removed and replaced with Ahmed Lawan.
Explaining his plight, Ndume said he was removed for insisting that the Senate ignored the proper procedure before declaring that it had rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
According to him, it was wrong for the senate to reject a nominee during a closed door session.
He revealed that he set the records straight to his colleagues, only to find out that the clarification he made unsettled some of his colleagues, who immediately began to plot against him.
He said, “What I said was that for us (Senate) to claim to have a rejected a nominee sent to us by the president, we have to follow the right procedure, and observe our rules.
“The nominee should have been called into the chamber and presented before senators who will then openly vote on whether to accept or reject his or her nomination.
“In the case of Magu, that was not done. We only had a closed-door session and when we emerged the Senate spokesperson claimed that he had been rejected. I had to set the record straight by saying we never rejected the nominee. This is because you don’t accept or reject a nominee at a closed session. Our votes and proceedings are there as evidence of my claims.”
“I was surprised that such a simple and harmless clarification could rattle and anger some of my colleagues,” he said. I thought it wasn’t a big deal to disagree over issues. I didn’t realise that that simple matter would snowball into a plot to remove me.
“The other day, somebody mentioned to me that the Senate President had commissioned Dino Melaye to collect signatures to remove me. I didn’t pay much attention to the information because I actually thought it was a joke or a rumour.
“I didn’t feel that disagreeing with colleagues, and sharing my understanding of what transpired at our closed session was an offence, grievous enough to cause my removal.”