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Senate suspends Senator Ningi for three months over budget padding allegations



In a move likely to raise eyebrows across the political landscape, the Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, suspended Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP – Bauchi Central) for a period of three months.

The suspension stems from allegations by Senator Ningi that the 2024 national budget had been padded to the tune of a staggering N3.7 trillion.

In the plenary on Tuesday, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Ogun West) raised a motion that there is urgent need to address allegation by Ningi, which the lawmakers said was false

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 for the suspension of Ningi for 12 months while adding that Senator Sumaila Kawu (Kano South, NNPP) be warned.

READ ALSO:Senate dismisses reports on padding of 2024 budget

Senator Chris Ekpeyong (Akwa-Ibom North-West, PDP) opposed by moving a motion of amendment that it be adjusted to six months and it was seconded. Another Senator said a three-month suspension should be adopted.

This development comes amidst heightened scrutiny of the national budget in recent years. Concerns about budgetary irregularities and inflated figures have led to calls for greater transparency and accountability in the allocation of public funds.

The N3.7 trillion figure associated with the alleged padding is particularly significant. It represents a substantial portion of the entire national budget and, if true, would constitute a major financial malfeasance.

The suspension is likely to have a number of ramifications. Senator Ningi will be stripped of his privileges and be barred from participating in Senate activities for the three-month duration.

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