By Onyedika Agbedo
Senator Arthur Nzeribe: Senator Nzeribe represented Imo West Senatorial district at the Senate from 1999 to 2003. In October 2002, he was suspended indefinitely for alleged actions inimical to the integrity of the Senate. The action of the Senate was, however, perceived as a pre-emptive move against Nzeribe, who was the arrowhead of a plan to remove then Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim for allegedly supporting the National Assembly’s plan to impeach President Olusegun Obasanjo. His indefinite suspension was agreed upon during plenary on October 23, 2002, following an announcement by Anyim that Nzeribe had through forgery defrauded the Senate to the tune of N22,082,000 through five payments. Anyim had said that repeated attempts by him to make Nzeribe refund the money had failed and therefore requested the Senate to grant him leave to hand over Nzeribe to the police for investigation and possible prosecution. The prayer was unanimously adopted through a voice vote without any dissension.
Senator Joseph Waku: Senator Waku represented Benue North Senatorial district of Benue State at the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from 1999 to 2003. He was suspended from the upper chamber in February 2000 for calling for a coup eight months after the military handed over power to a democratically elected government. Waku had made the call in an interview he granted to TELL magazine, where he had described the then civilian administration led by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as “dictatorial,” and called for military take-over to curtail him.
Senator Femi Okurounmu: Senator Okurounmu represented the Ogun Central Senatorial district of Ogun State at the Senate from 1999 to 2003 on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He was suspended from the upper chamber in 1999 for alleging that senators were planning to impeach President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was, however, recalled after apologising to the Senate.
Isah Mohammed: Senator Mohammed represented Niger Central Senatorial district of Niger State on the platform of the PDP. He was suspended in October 2004 for two weeks for slapping Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, who represented Ogun West district, outside the lobby of the National Assembly. Anisulowo was then the chairperson of the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Affairs and it was reported that the dispute may be connected to the disbursement of her committee’s funds.
House of Representatives
Hon. Dino Melaye and others: Hon. Dino Melaye, who represented Kogi West federal constituency of Kogi State in the House of Representatives, and 10 other members of the Progressive Group of the House, were suspended till the end of the legislative session on June 22, 2010 for making allegations that the House, which was under the leadership of Dimeji Bankole was corrupt, and demanding for probe. The 10 others that were suspended along with Melaye at a very rowdy session were Hon. West Idahosa, Hon. Austin Nwachukwu, Hon. Gbenga Onigbogi, Hon. Doris Uboh, Hon. Gbenga Oduaye, Hon. Independence Ogunewe, Hon. Solomon Achinawhi, Hon. Kayode Amusa, Hon. Abba Anas Adamu and Hon. Bitmus Kaze. However, a Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Adamu Bello quashed their suspension in a ruling in December 2010.
Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin: The House suspended Hon. Jibrin, representing Kiru/Bebeji federal constituency of Kano State, on September 28, 2016 for 180 legislative days for allegedly breaching the practices and precedents of the House. Jibrin was instrumental to the emergence of Hon. Yakubu Dogara as Speaker but their relationship became frosty soon after Dogara removed him as chairman, House Committee on Appropriations in July 2016. He eventually took up the gauntlet against Dogara and four other principal officers of the House, accusing them of padding the 2016 budget to the tune of N40 billion. Jibrin had invited the anti-graft agencies to investigate the allegation. The House considered his actions as an aberration and referred the matter to its Committee on Ethics. The committee found him guilty of misconduct and recommended his suspension, which was adopted at plenary.