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Alleged Budget Padding: PDP Calls On Akpabio To Step Aside For Investigation

The Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio has been charged by the leadership of the  People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to step aside and permit an independent investigation into claims that the 2024 budget contains N3.7 trillion worth of unrecorded projects.

The opposition party made this call while reacting to the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi representing Bauchi Central on the platform of the PDP over claims that the 2024 budget was inflated by N3.7trn, knocking Akpabio for removing Ningi without conducting a thorough inquiry into the claim of budget padding.

Speaking in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, the party declared its unwearing support for Senator Ningi as he called for the suspension of the Senate President.

The statement reads, “The Peoples Democratic Party demands that the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, immediately step aside and allow for an independent investigation into the allegation that a staggering N3.7 trillion was discreetly inserted into the 2024 budget for alleged non-existent projects.

“We ask, why did the APC leadership in the Senate not refer the matter to the appropriate Senate Standing Committee for an open investigation in line with the extant Rules of the Senate? What is the APC Senate leadership afraid of and what is it hiding from Nigerians?

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“It is even more absurd that instead of recusing himself, the Senate President sat as a judge in the matter; a situation that has the capacity to bring the institution of the Senate to further public disrepute.

“This is especially true as the issues at hand heavily border on alleged gross misconduct and criminal betrayal of public trust which are serious offences under our laws.

“This apparent inclination towards covering up sleaze in the polity is already pitching the institution of the Senate against Nigerians who are demanding answers on the matter. Of course, the widely condemned suspension of Senator Ningi does not provide answers to the budget padding allegation.

“It is indeed unfortunate and a huge smear on the image of the Senate, as the highest lawmaking and probity Institution in the country, that its Presiding Officer has found himself in a quagmire of alleged sleaze and betrayal of public trust.

“Our party therefore stands with Senator Ningi for his courage in seeking probity and accountability in the polity.”

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