Budget Padding: No back door arrangement to reinstate Ningi – Nigerian Senate


The Nigerian Senate says there is no backdoor arrangement to reinstate the suspended Bauchi Central senator, Abdul Ningi.

The Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu (APC, Ekiti South), made this disclosure on Monday while answering questions on the veracity of the claim that the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, had resolved to settle with the embattled lawmaker in private.

Saga Gist recalls that on March 13, the Senate slammed Ningi with a three-month suspension over allegations of N3.7 trillion padding in the 2024 budget.

Two weeks into his suspension, Ningi had written to the Senate President, via his lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, demanding his reinstatement or risk a court summons.

This was further followed by some media reports stating that Ningi would resume with his colleagues, having made peace with Akpabio and some cabals behind closed doors.

Adaramodu, however, noted that there was no provision for such an arrangement, as only the 108 senators could decide Ningi’s fate.

He said, “I am not aware of any back door arrangement, and to the best of my knowledge, there was none.

“There was an infraction occasioned by the actions of our respected colleague, Senator Abdul Ningi, which made the Senate in an open public session, where he was allowed to defend himself and for senators to talk on it, debated on it, then at the end of the day it was found that an infraction had really occurred.”

The senator added that when the Senate resumes on Tuesday, if he (Ningi) makes a plea, then the senators will sit and review it, based on merits.

Responding to speculations surrounding legal interventions, such as in the case of the former Deputy Senate President, Ovie-Omo-Agege, Adaramodu said, “I’m not a law court. The situations with Senator Omo-Agege and Ningi are distinctly different. Just as other organizations have disciplinary mechanisms, so does the legislature.”

Addressing concerns about representation for Ningi’s constituents during his suspension, Adaramodu highlighted that disciplinary actions only restrict a legislator from participating in chamber activities.

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