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Budget Padding Allegation: Why Akpabio can’t resign – Senate Spokesman



The Senate has berated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on its call for the resignation of the President of the Senate, Sen Godswill Akpabio over the allegation that the 2024 budget was padded to the tune of N3.7trillion. The opposition party based its call on the allegations made by the Senator representing Bauchi Central, Abdul Ningi who was suspended on Wednesday for failing to substantiate his claims. .

Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Sen Yemi Adaramodu declared that PDP had elevated “chicanery to statecraft and fatally failed in their sordid attempt to hoodwink the unsuspecting public on the ineffectual but spurious” allegations of budget padding.

Adaramodu said the party’s call for the resignation of Akpabio as the Senate President was unthinkable and shows the party was encouraging falsehood and misinformation. He stated that Akpabio will not resign and has no intention to resign at any time because he has not committed any wrong doing to warrant a

According to him, it was shocking that the PDP leadership could not comprehend what transpired at Tuesday’s plenary where the allegations were debated and Senator Abdul Ningi,who was given the ample opportunity to defend himself and prove the budget padding allegations was suspended after he failed to substantiate his claims in the full glare of the public.

“Contrary to the contention by the PDP that N3.7 trillion was discreetly inserted into the 2024 budget for alleged non-existent projects, and what transpired on the floor of the Chamber, it is open knowledge that no such absurdity is found in the budget passed by the National Assembly and signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which is being implemented judiciously by the Federal government. Perhaps, the N3.7trn being mentioned in the PDP’s shocking statement exists only in the fickle minds of its purveyors and serves as a dubious version of the budget generated by PDP’s ‘unidentified political flying objects,” he said.

Adaramodu explained that the Senate did not in any way violate the constitution or its standing Rules and Orders, in not referring the matter to a relevant committee but the decision to take the issue in the Committee of the Whole was for transparency and fairness; and to afford the public the opportunity to follow the proceedings and have a value judgement as to who was lying to the nation. He also explained that it is the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to vary and determine its internal rules, as deem fit.

According to him, contrary to the position of the PDP, Ningi was neither intimidated nor harassed and was not gagged or denied the privilege to exercise his right of reply as he was given ample opportunity to defend himself.

“But the whole world saw how he floundered, since he had no verifiable facts to substantiate his allegations and his futile efforts to defend lies. So, the decision to debate the matter in the Committee of the Whole was in sync with the resolve of the leadership of the 10th Senate under Senator Akpabio to stand for transparency, justice and fairness.

“The proceedings of the plenary were transmitted live by at least five popular national television stations, making all right thinking people to wonder the basis on which the PDP is questioning the process. The PDP expected the Senate to sweep the unfounded allegations under the carpet but the 10th Senate under the leadership of Senate President Akpabio has zero tolerance for corruption, insipid lies and egregious falsehood such as the N3.7trn budget padding allegations and could not have conducted the investigation in the closet as suggested by the PDP.

“No amount of lies and fake allegations will distract the 10th Senate, under Senator Godswill Akpabio, from delivering good legislation and effective oversight for which Nigerians elected us,” Adaramodu said.