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Bauchi governor throws weight behind suspended Ningi over budget padding claims

Senator Abdul Ningi's Suspension Sparks Political Controversy as Bauchi State Governor Voices Support

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has rallied behind Senator Abdul Ningi following his suspension by the Senate for three months amidst allegations of budget padding. Ningi, representing Bauchi Central, faced disciplinary action after asserting in a BBC interview that the National Assembly inflated the 2024 budget.

The controversy unfolded during a debate spurred by Ningi’s claims that the budget passed by the Senate significantly exceeded the one implemented by the presidency, alleging a discrepancy of N3 trillion allocated to projects without specified locations. Despite facing criticism and suspension threats, Ningi remained steadfast in his accusations, prompting a divided response within the Senate.

Governor Bala Mohammed publicly declared his support for Senator Ningi during a State Executive Council meeting, emphasizing the importance of preserving dissent within the political landscape without resorting to punitive measures. Mohammed commended Ningi’s track record as a diligent and principled lawmaker, highlighting his commitment to further examining the senator’s situation.

Meanwhile, dissenting voices within the Senate criticized Ningi’s assertions, with Senator Opeyemi Bamidele condemning them as a “civilian coup.” The motion to suspend Ningi, initiated by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim over allegations of misinformation and breach of peace, sparked heated debate, leading to proposed amendments to reduce the suspension duration.

Despite opposition, the Senate voted in favor of Ningi’s suspension for three months, underscoring the seriousness with which his allegations were regarded. The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, characterized Ningi’s offenses as “grievous,” reflecting the contentious nature of the situation and the broader implications for political discourse and accountability within Nigeria’s legislative body.

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