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Senate Suspends Abdul Ningi for Three Months Amid Allegations of N3.7 Trillion Budget Padding

Senator Abdul Ningi

On Tuesday, the Senate imposed a three-month suspension on Senator Abdul Ningi due to his involvement in budget padding allegations.

The Senate has taken the decision to suspend Senator Abdul Ningi, former Senate Deputy Leader and Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, for a period of three months. During this time, he will be barred from participating in any activities of the 10th Senate. However, the Senate also stated that if Senator Ningi issues an apology during this suspension period, he may be reinstated to resume his legislative duties.

This resolution was reached on Tuesday following a motion by Senator Olamilekan Adeola, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, regarding allegations made by Ningi concerning N3 trillion budget padding in the 2024 Appropriation Act, which totaled N28.7 trillion. Adeola highlighted that the budget passed by the National Assembly for the fiscal year 2024 amounted to N25 trillion, while the one implemented by the Presidency was N28.7 trillion.

Initially, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim proposed a twelve-month suspension for Ningi, which was seconded by Senator Edeh Dafinone. However, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong later suggested reducing the suspension to six months, and Senator Musa Garba Maidoki proposed a further reduction to three months, which was seconded by Senator Sani Musa.

Upon the voting of these additional proposals, with Senator Godswill Akpabio presiding over the session, Ningi promptly gathered his documents and left the chamber.

It’s worth noting that the Senate faced a chaotic atmosphere during discussions on Ningi’s allegations, which also involved accusations of discrepancies between the budget approved by the National Assembly and the one implemented by the Presidency. Ningi’s claims included assertions about undisclosed funds and discrepancies in budget figures, urging for a thorough investigation into the matter.

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This development echoes previous instances where the Senate took disciplinary actions, such as the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume in 2017, highlighting the significance of maintaining integrity and decorum within the legislative body.