ningi

Budget Padding: Charge Ningi For Criminal Misinformation, Lawmaker Tells Presidency 

I'm not afraid of Senate Suspension says Senator Ningi
1 month ago
2 mins read

A lawmaker representing Ondo South in the Nigerian Senate, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, has called on the presidency to charge Senator Abdul Ningi of Bauchi Central with criminal misinformation, following his allegation that the executive padded the 2024 budget by adding ₦3 trillion to what the National Assembly approved.

Prime Business Africa reports that Senator Ningi had during an interview with the BBC Hausa Service alleged that the Senate approved ₦25 trillion for the 2024 budget but what is being implemented by the executive is ₦28.75 trillion. He reportedly claimed that the budget was also skewed against the North.

Senator Ibrahim who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs and a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, asked the federal government to commence a process leading to charging Ningi for criminal misinformation, adding that the conduct has the propensity to cause a breach of peace in the country.

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He equally called on the Inspector General of Police to as a matter of urgency charge Ningi for criminal misinformation.

The Ondo lawmaker, who spoke to newsmen aftter Monday’s sitting in Abuja, said he would take up the gauntlet if no action is taken by the Senate within the next seven days.

He described Ningi’s comment on the 2024 budget as very embarrassing, adding that the 10th Senate will not just fold its hands and watch.

Debunking Ningi’s claims that the Senate approved two budgets, the lawmaker said: “We never approved two budgets the Presidency of Nigeria cannot operate two budgets.”

“Senator Ningi made this false information and it’s unacceptable, It’s causing uncomfortable pains to our integrity, and integrity of our children and family as people read it all over the world.

“It is very important, as a matter of urgency for the federal government to charge Senator Ningi to court for criminal misinformation and conduct.

“If the Senate will not move to do that in the next seven days. I will write a letter, and I have started that to the IGP to investigate circumstances leading to approval of two appropriation and culprits to book. And if the IGP will not do it, I will ask for the order of mandamus to compel a public officer to do that,” Senator Ibrahim said.

Meanwhile, Ningi while addressing Senate Correspondents on Monday denied stating that the Federal Government is operating two budgets, noting that his interview with BBC Hausa Service was translated in error to tarnish his image.

He also denied saying the budget was skewed against the North.

Ningi added that he was speaking for himself and not on behalf of the Northern Senators’ Forum Chairman. He however insisted that there was no project associated with the more than N3 trillion in the 2024 budget.

“In the course of perusing the budget, We have established beyond a reasonable doubt, that about N25 trillion so far has nexus in the budget; that means there is money and then there are projects and there is location. But we are yet to ascertain N3 trillion of that budget. We have established the N3 trillion in the budget, but we have not established its location and place. Like I said going forward the budget evaluation is ongoing,” Ningi stated.

Ningi reaffirmed the Northern Senators Forum’s plan to meet with Senate President Godswill Akpabio and then President Bola Tinubu to discuss the results of the budget scrutiny. She questioned why the action is being questioned.

The lawmaker said he is ready to face any consequence for his comments including a possible suspension from the Senate.

“If it is a cross I have to carry, I will carry it. I am not afraid of anything. I believe in one God, I believe what we are doing is temporary. I am not scared of anything like suspension. I have been out of the Senate for ages and people have forced me back. Some of my friends were removed by the Tribunal and are living their lives. If because of what I said I will be suspended, so be it. It will be an honour. For me to be suspended by whatever body for speaking as a parliamentarian will be a very big honour,” Ningi said.

 

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.

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