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Budget padding allegation: Senate pardons, recalls Ningi

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Senator Abdul Ningi

By Naomi Sharang

The Senate on Tuesday pardoned and recalled Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi) who was suspended for three months from all activities of the upper chamber over his claim that the 2024 Budget was padded.

The upper chamber had suspended Ningi who is representing Bauchi Central in the Senate after he granted an interview to the BBC Hausa Service indicating that
President Bola Tinubu was operating two different budgets for 2024.

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

However, while dismissing his claim, the Senate at a plenary on 12 March decided to suspend Ningi March for “the wrong impression in the public domain of the 2024 budget created by the BBC interview and other national media houses and social media platforms.”

“And amplified by Sen. Suleiman Kawu (NNPP-Kano) through his facebook account and other social media platforms; and

However, the decision to lift suspension on Ningi was lifted on Tuesday following the adoption of a motion titled: “Motion for the unconditional recall of Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, sponsored by the Minority Leader, Abba Moro (PDP – Benue South).

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Moro in his lead debate said to the Senate: “Notes that on Tuesday 12th March 2024, this very revered loth Senate in plenary suspended the former Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi of Bauchi Central Senatorial District for three months following a media interview he granted the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service on March 9, 2024, in which he alleged that about 3.7 trillion Naira representing over 10% of the 2024 budget was illegally inserted into the 2024 National Budget.

“Notes further that Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi was asked to address his allegation of budget padding against the National Assembly, following a motion of urgent national importance moved by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, the chairman of Senate Committee on Appropriations.

“And failing to address the allegation, the Senate resolved to suspend Senator Abdul Ahmed Ning for three months for violating legislative rules, misconduct, and unethical behaviour for the interview he granted on BBC Media on the 2024 Appropriation Act, legislation which process he was part of.

“Aware that the said Senator Abdul Ahmed Ninigi, being under suspension, has spent over two months outside the precincts of the National Assembly Complex and needs to return to continue with his legislative activities as the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District;

“Flowing from the above the Senate Minority Leadership takes full responsibility for the actions of our colleague Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi and apologizes on his behalf.”

Moro therefore urged the Senate to reconsider the additional resolution of the Senate of the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday 13th March, 2024, to recall Senator Abdul Ahmad Ning to the Senate as senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District.

Senators approved the prayer when it was put to voice vote by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during plenary.

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