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Akpabio opens up on alleged N3trn padding in 2024 Budget



SERAP sues Akpabio ‘over failure to recall Ningi, refer N3.7trn budget padding to EFCC, ICPC’
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Senate President Godswill Akpabio says claims of budget padding made by Abdul Ningi, senator representing Bauchi central, have put the integrity of the red chamber at risk.

The senate plenary on Tuesday turned into a rowdy session over Ningi’s allegation that the 2024 budget was padded by N3 trillion.

Over the weekend, Ningi alleged that “huge damage” has been done to the entire country through the budget.

The lawmaker further alleged that “apart from what the national assembly did on the floor, there was another budget that was done underground which we didn’t know.”

Speaking during an open session, Akpabio said the senate has lost the respect of the citizens due to the unverifiable statement made by the senator.

“Nigerians are bashing the senate. Many Nigerians will never in future come back to respect this chamber. The integrity of this chamber has been damaged and we wanted you to repair it with your speech,” the senate president said.

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“Instead of that, you said you have more documents to prove what you are saying. This thing is in the public glare. I am still waiting to receive full details up to this moment. If you had given me full details, I would have known what you know.

“So far, what you know is only known to you, it is not known to anyone else. I don’t know how you rushed to the press carrying different versions. Social media is very fast. From Canada, the United States, everywhere, the story was about budget padding by the senate.”

Meanwhile, the senate has suspended Ningi for three months after a motion on privilege moved by Solomon Adeola, senator representing Ogun west.