Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Budget Padding: Senate to review Ningi’s three-month suspension- Akpabio

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio says the upper chamber will soon review Senator Abdul Ningi’s three-month suspension which was imposed on him over claims that the N28.78 trillion 2024 budget was padded to the tune of N3.7 trillion.

Akpabio said this on his return to Nigeria after a seven-day trip to Geneva, Switzerland for the 148th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU.

Though he says he is yet to see any letter from Senator Ningi, he expressed hope that the Bauchi lawmaker will soon return to legislative business, as the matter will be treated as a family affair.

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The suspended Senator representing Bauchi Central, Abdul Ningi, was said to have written to the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and the Senate leadership, through his lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, demanding that the suspension placed on him be lifted.

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Falana stressed that if his suspension is not lifted in the next seven days, he will drag the Senate before the Federal High Court.

Falana also argued that apart from violating Ningi’s fundamental right to a fair hearing, the Senate also violated the right of the people of the Bauchi Central Senatorial District to representation in the Senate for three months. He further stated that the suspension of his client is a breach of Section 111 of the Constitution and Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act.

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Femi Falana stated in the letter that the Senate President acted as the accuser, prosecutor, and judge in the case, saying this is in utter violation of the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

The Senate, on March 12, 2024, suspended Senator Ningi for three months over a media interview with the BBC Hausa Service, alleging that N3 Trillion in the 2024 budget was not traceable to any project and location.

The suspension also led to the resignation of the Bauchi-born lawmaker from his position as Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum and immediately replaced by the All Progressives Congress, APC Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua representing Katsina Central.



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