Breaking: Senate suspends Ningi over N3.7trillion budget padding allegation
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Breaking: Senate suspends Ningi over N3.7trillion budget padding allegation

March 12, 2024

Breaking: Senate suspends Ningi over N3.7trillion budget padding allegation

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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The Senate has suspended Senator Abdul Ningi for three months over his claim that the 2024 Budget was padded to the tune of N3.7 trillion.

Ningi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Population and he represents Bauchi Central.

While the parties called for a probe into the allegation, some northern senators disowned the claims made by Ningi, saying the Bauchi State senator did not speak for them.

On Tuesday, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Ogun West) raised a motion that there is urgent need to address the false allegation by Ningi.

Adeola, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, read the transcript of Ningi’s Hausa BBC interview on the floor of the house after Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, called for a committee of the whole house.

Meanwhile, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim moved an amended motion for the suspension of Ningi for 12 months while adding that Senator Sumaila Kawu (Kano South, NNPP) be warned.

Senator Chris Ekpeyong (Akwa-Ibom North-West, PDP) opposed this by moving a motion of amendment that the suspension be reduced to six months, and it was seconded.

Another senator, Garba Maidoki (Kebbi South), however, made further amendment, asking that Ningi be suspended for three months.

After putting the amended motion to a voice vote, Akpabio ruled, “Senator Ningi is hereby suspended from the Senate for a period of three months.”

Immediately after the pronouncement was made, Ningi was led out of the floor of the Senate by one of the Sergeants-at-arm.

Akpabio had prepared the groud for the suspension when he lamented that the allegation of budget padding sparked by Senator Ningi’s interview has dented the image of the Senate.

Akpabio, during an open session, lamented the negative impact of the allegation on the Senate’s reputation.

He criticised Ningi for his initial interview and a subsequent one where he seemingly defended his initial claim of budget padding.

“Nigerians are bashing the Senate. Many Nigerians will never in future come back to respect this chamber. The integrity of this chamber has been totally damaged and we wanted you to repair it with your speech.

“Instead of that, you said you have more documents to prove what you are saying. This thing is in the public glare. I have not received full details up to this moment. If you had given me full details, I would have been able to know what you know.

“So far, what you know is only known to you, it is not known to any other person. I don’t know how you rushed to the press carrying different versions. The social media is very fast. From Canada, the United States, everywhere, the story was budget padding by the Senate.

“I can quote a section of the Premium Times that said ‘this is the highest level of budget padding in Nigeria’s history where the budget passed a budget of N25 trillion but what we collect was N28 trillion,” he said.

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