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Senate suspends Abdul Ningi for three months over budget padding claim

Senate suspends Abdul Ningi for three months over budget padding claim
March 12
15:26 2024

The senate has suspended Abdul Ningi, senator representing Bauchi central, for alleging that the 2024 budget was padded by N3 trillion.

The matter was debated in line with the standing order of the senate during plenary on Tuesday which lasted more than three hours.

The upper legislative chamber suspended the lawmaker after a motion on privilege moved by Solomon Adeola, senator representing Ogun west.

At the weekend, Ningi stirred a discourse when he made the allegation and said a “huge damage” has been done to the north and the entire country through the budget.

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The national assembly had passed a budget of N28.7 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year.

President Bola Tinubu had proposed N27.5 trillion, but the lawmakers jerked it up by N1.2 trillion.

While moving his motion, Adeola argued that his privilege was breached because he was part of the processes that produced the 2024 budget.

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“My privilege has been breached because I was one of those who participated in the preparation of the budget. With what has transpired in the last three days, my privilege has been breached,” the senator said.

“One of the senators of this chamber granted an interview to BBC Hausa and issues relating to budget were mentioned.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I have the full transcript – notarised – of the interview and I have here in a flash the voice of Abdul Ningi and I want to lay it before the senate.

“It becomes necessary because of the headlines that have come from these interviews.”

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Though Ningi got up to defend himself, claiming that he had documents to back up his claim, the majority of the senators sought his punishment.

Opeyemi Bamidele, majority leader of the senate, said the comments by Ningi were an attempt to “overthrow” Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

“What he did was tantamount to a coup using the platform of the Northern Senators Forum (NSF),” Bamidele said.

TheCable had reported how Ningi risked suspension over his claim.

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