Budget padding controversy: Recall Ningi immediately, SERAP tells Akpabio

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, to recall Senator Abdul Ningi who was suspended for three months over his allegation of budget padding.

 

Ningi, the lawmaker representing Bauchi Central, was suspended for three months over an interview in which he alleged that the National Assembly padded the 2024 N28.7 trillion budget as against N25tn.

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He was quoted as saying, “For the first time in Nigerian history, today we are operating two different budgets. One budget was approved by the National Assembly and signed by President Bola Tinubu, and the one was implemented by the presidency.

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“The one approved by us is N25tn while the one operating by the Federal Government is N28tn.”

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Two days after his resignation as the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, Ningi was replaced by Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua (APC Katsina Central).

READ ALSO: SERAP Urges President Tinubu to Investigate Alleged Missing $3.4bn IMF Loan

 

 

In a statement dated March 16, 2024, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the group urged Akpabio “to immediately reinstate whistleblower Abdul Ningi who was recently suspended from the Senate over his allegations that the lawmakers padded the 2024 budget by irregularly inserting projects worth N3.7 trillion.”

 

SERAP equally told the Senate President to refer the allegation to the country’s anti-graft agencies – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission, which would improve public trust in the Senate.

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