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Senate suspends Sen. Ningi over alleged 2024 budget padding

Senate suspends Sen. Ningi over alleged 2024 budget padding

 

Senate suspends Sen. Ningi over alleged 2024 budget padding

The Senate has suspended Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi) for three months from all activities of the Senate over 2024 Budget padding allegation.

The upper chamber’s resolution was sequel to a motion by Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC-Ogun) during Tuesday’s plenary.

The motion was titled: “Urgent Need to Address the False Allegations Against the Senate and the Presidency on the 2024 Appropriation Act by Sen. Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central).”

It was reported that the BBC Hausa Service had reported Ningi as said that President Bola Tinubu was operating two different budgets for 2024.

It said Ningi had claimed that the National Assembly passed N25 trillion as 2024 budget and not the N28.7 trillion that was being implemented by the Federal Government.

It was reported that the initial prayers of the upper chamber was “allow for immediate deliberation of the matter and take appropriate action deemed fit in the overriding public interest and to prevent break down of law and order.

“Take further necessary steps to correct the wrong impression in public domain of 2024 budget created by the BBC interview and other national media houses and social media platforms by Sen. Ningi.

“And amplified by Sen. Suleiman Kawu (NNPP-Kano) through his facebook account and other social media platforms said, “Take any further decision as the Senate deems fit and proper to safeguard the integrity of the 2024 Budget which is pivotal to the revamping of our economy.”

Sen. Jimoh Ibrahim (APC-Ondo) had moved for an additional prayer that Ningi be suspended for an initial period of 12 months while Sen. Edeh Dafinone (APC-Delta) seconded.

But, Sen. Garba Maidoki (PDP-Kebbi) moved a motion for an amended prayer that the suspension should be for three months which was seconded by Sen. Sani Musa (APC-Niger).

Earlier, moving the motion, Adeola as Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, said that the additional increase of N1.2 trillion was presented by the President during the appropriation process.

“This was through additional funding requests.

“The additional source of funding for the increase came from the increase in the benchmark of naira to dollar from N750-N800, increase in Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) revenue and other sources.

“The false allegations including that of the 2024 Budget being against the “North” has since generated debate in the media and general public with aspersions on all senators, the Senate and the National Assembly.”

In his own defence, Ningi said, “I think Sen. Adeola has done a fair job except on some issues that I do not understand. I never said the budget was padded.

“I never issued any of these statements. This is a fake contribution that was forwarded, I do not know the author of this,” Ningi told the Senate.

In his contribution, Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele said what Ningi had set to do “was tantamount to a civilian coup.”

Earlier, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio said that “Ningi told me he had paid the consultant N30 million to conduct the investigation.

“Ningi called some of us for a meeting. When he told me this, I told him I would like to see the details.

“But I didn’t receive it, but you had the opportunity to attend a BBC interview. It’s only you that has the document you have. I don’t have it.

“I want Nigerians to know that what President Bola Tinubu presented to the National Assembly was N27.5 trillion, at no time did the President presented N25 trillion.

“The integrity of this Chamber has been totally damaged,” he said.

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