I’m not afraid of suspension, says embattled Senator Ningi

By Ibidapo Balogun in Abuja

Embattled Senator Abdul Ningi from Bauchi State who allegedly made false claims over the 2024 Appropriation Act has said he is not afraid of being suspended by the Senate.

He said what he set out to do with his BBC interview was to bring out the discrepancy in the budget so the matter could be addressed.

He also said he spoke for himself as a Senator representing Bauchi Central and not for the Northern Senators as alleged.

In his interview with the BBC, the Senator claimed that a consultant he hired to look at the 2024 budget had stated that the budget approved was around N25 trillion and that the N3.7 trillion being associated with the budget could not be traced.

“There were projects, other budget heads and allocations and when these were put together, what came up was N25 trillion and not N28.7 trillion,” he said.

Speaking in an interview with Arise News on Monday night, Senator Ningi said he never claimed there were two budgets or that President Bola Tinubu was implementing two budgets.

“I’m not afraid of being suspended. I have been in the Senate before, I was Deputy Leader and had been away from the Senate for 12 years and I’m not afraid of leaving it. But the truth must be told.

“I stand by what I said. I can carry my can alone. I have the tape of my interview. I do not know where Bayo Onanuga of the Presidency got the allegations of two budgets or that I was speaking for the North.

“The Northern Senators Forum has a spokesperson and I’m not that person. All I said is when my consultant looked at the budget as passed, what he came back with is N25 trillion.”

President Tinubu had submitted a budget proposal of N27 trillion to the National Assembly for approval, but in the end, the lawmakers passed a budget totalling N28.7 trillion, jacking it up by N3.7 trillion.

Meanwhile, the Senate is set for a stormy session as it resumes on Tuesday as some senators have threatened to move a motion for the suspension of Senator Ningi based on that interview which they claimed disparaged the Senate.

For instance, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim from Ondo State said if the Senate doesn’t suspend the Senator, he would approach a private citizen to head for the law court on grounds of the public good.

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