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Ningi may be reinstated soon – Sources

The three-month suspension slammed on Senator Abdul Ningi over allegations of N3.7 trillion padding of the 2024 budget may be reviewed, according to sources.

The Senate under the leadership of Senate President Godswill Akpabio had suspended the Bauchi lawmaker amid the head of the controversy.

A member of the Appropriation Committee in the Senate, Jimoh Ibrahim, first moved the motion for Ningi’s suspension for 12 months over allegations of criminal misinformation and breach of peace in the National Assembly and the country by extension.

But sources close to the leadership of the Senate told Daily Trust last night that the allegation of budget padding was a plot to tarnish the image of the National Assembly and distract attention.

One of the sources said the issue, which culminated in Ningi’s suspension “is being resolved amicably.”

He said the suspended senator might be reinstated anytime “if he tenders a public apology to the Senate.”

“I can tell you there is no tension in the Senate. The Senate remains one. The allegation about budget padding is just a ploy to tarnish the image of the senate under Godswill Akpabio who has shown uncommon commitment towards tackling the various challenges confronting the country by fostering effective collaboration with the Executive without jeopardizing the principle of separation of power.

“The N3.7 trillion that was mentioned represents the budget of government owned enterprises (GOEs) and they are expected to come to the Senate to defend their budget because the details are not always in the entire estimate. So, where is the budget padding allegation coming from? The budget was prepared by the executive. The House of Representatives plays more role in scrutinizing the budget and so where’s this allegation coming from if not because some people felt they should be the President of the Senate and not Senator Akpabio.

“There was also the allocation for Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs) for members of the National Assembly for their constituencies. The money is not being released to any lawmaker but this is in form of projects for their constituencies”, the lawmaker who did not wish to be name said.

There have been pressure on the senate to revisit its action deemed unfair in some quarters.

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