Senate Suspends Abdul Ningi Over Budget Padding

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Senate Suspends Abdul Ningi Over Budget Padding Claim

The senate has suspended Abdul Ningi, senator representing Bauchi central, for alleging that the 2024 budget was padded by N3trn.

The matter was debated in line with the standing order of the senate during plenary on Tuesday.

Senator Jimoh Ibrahim from Ondo state has moved a motion for Senator Abdul Ningi from Bauchi state to be suspended from the red chambers for 12 months.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) senator moved the motion after a rowdy session in the Senate.

Senator Ibrahim had earlier asked the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to arrest and prosecute Senator Ningi, over allegations of budget padding against President Bola Tinubu’s administration at a news conference in Abuja.

He also threatened to invoke necessary legislative procedure against Ningi if the IGP failed to arrest and prosecute him within seven days.

On Tuesday, the senators were debating the allegations of Ningi that the 2024 Budget was padded.

While plenary was ongoing, Senator Agom Jarigbe, a Peoples Democratic Party senator like Ningi, defended his colleague, saying some ranking senators got allocation of N500 million each from the budget.

Ningi, the chairperson of the 58-member Northern Senators Forum, told BBC Hausa on Saturday that the members of the Forum sought the service of a private auditor and discovered irregularities in the budget.

He said two budgets were in operation and that one of them passed by the National Assembly was N25 trillion while the second one being implemented by the federal government was N28 trillion and therefore, had been padded with N3 trillion.

“For example, we had a budget of N28 trillion but after our thorough checks, we found out that it was a budget of N25 trillion. How and where did we get the additional N3 trillion from, what are we spending it for?” he said.

Meanwhile, some members of the Forum dissociated themselves from the allegation of padding in the approved 2024 budget made by Ningi.

The senators expressed their position in a statement jointly signed on Monday.

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By Abia ThinkTank

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