From Kenneth Udeh, Abuja

The Senate on Tuesday handed down a three Month suspension on Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) over the allegations he made during an interview he granted on the BBC Hausa Service that the national budget for the 2024 fiscal year was padded to the tune of N3 trillion.

During the day’s plenary, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Ogun West) raised a motion that there is urgent need to address the false allegation by Ningi.


Ningi suspension was ratified after a motion was moved by South-west Senator Jimoh Ibrahim (Ondo South) who initially moved the Bauchi South Lawmaker to be removed from office for a period of 12 months and be stripped of all privileges and allowances.

However, Senator Sani Musa (Niger East) while seconding the motion made an amendment and appealed that the suspension be reduced to three Months.

Prior to the Senate’s resolution, the embattled Lawmaker stood his ground; he however, that only 80 percent of his statements were true. Addressing his colleagues, Ningi debunked the statement allegedly signed by him in which the Lawmaker was alleged to have said the Senate and the Federal Government were operating two separate budgets of ₦25tn and ₦28tn respectively.

Ningi also absolved himself from the statement which accused him of saying that President Tinubu dislikes the North. Armed with documents to back his claims Ningi restated his earlier statement that the budgetary allocations to Senatorial Districts were lop-sided.

He defended himself; “I rushed to the assembly and countered what was said with documented evidence. Mr President, if you and your agents had listened to the interview I said categorically that the President’s powers stop as he proposed the budget.

“I said there is no way the National Assembly will add anything on the budget and it becomes padding. We discovered humongous repetitions and anomalies. We discovered some Senatorial Districts have N120bn and my Senatorial District has only N1.2bn. In this budget that Senator Yayi ( Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations) presented to you I have facts constituency by constituency some have 120 Billion.

“Mr President As I speak to you I don’t know your take home pay or that of the Principal officers. You made provisions for cars but I don’t know how spent on the purchase of your cars and that of the Principal officers.

In his response Akpabio admitted that Ningi and some Northern Senators had previously met over the matter concerning lopsided allocations; he however faulted Ningi for going to the press to discuss the matter.

He said ; “All the Committees here invited their DGs and they appeared before them. To speed up the process we made sure we had a joint meeting before finally going to defend the proposals before the Appropriation Committee. Premium Times reported that this is the highest budget padding in 1960, I am an unbiased umpire.

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

Senator Chris Ekpeyong (Akwa-Ibom North-West, PDP) opposed this by moving a motion of amendment that the suspension be reduced to six months, and it was seconded.

Another senator, Garba Maidoki (Kebbi South), however, made further amendment, asking that Ningi be suspended for three months.

After putting the amended motion to a voice vote, Akpabio ruled, “Senator Ningi is hereby suspended from the Senate for a period of three months.”

Pleas by some Senators to refer the matter to the Senate Committee on Ethics and privileges were shunned, immediately after the pronouncement was made, Ningi was led out of the floor of the Senate by one of the Sergeants-at-arms.





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