BREAKING NEWS: Budget padding controversy: ‘Ningi’s suspension rushed’ – ACF to Senate

Budget padding controversy: ‘Ningi’s suspension rushed’ – ACF to Senate

Budget padding controversy: ‘Ningi’s suspension rushed’ – ACF to Senate

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The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has condemned the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi over his revelation of alleged padding of the 2024 budget to the tune of N3.7 trillion by the Senate.

DAILY POST recalls that Senator Ningi, in an earlier interview, made the allegation that culminated in his three-month suspension for what the Senate labelled an unfounded allegation.

But ACF noted on Saturday that rather than suspending the senator representing Bauchi North, the Red Chamber should have allowed an independent investigation into the matter.

ACF National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Tukur-Baba, said in a statement in Kaduna that the process that culminated in Ningi’s suspension appeared rushed, and was like a case of “looking more on the messenger than his message.”

According to the forum, with the suspension of Ningi, who had served as the leader of the Northern Senators Forum, the interests of many communities in the region are at stake.

It said that rather than taking a rushed suspension of Ningi, it preferred a thorough investigation of the allegation by a statutory or ad hoc committee of the Senate.

The statement, titled “ACF Regrets Suspension of Senator Ningi from 10th Senate, Calls for More Open Debates on Issues,” noted that ACF has watched with keen interest the series of rather dramatic events in the Nigerian 10th Senate, which culminated in the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi from the Red Chamber for three months.

“ACF acknowledges the 10th Senate’s constitutional privilege to determine how it operates or conducts its affairs,” it said.

According to the statement, ACF does not wish to engage in debate with the Senate, noting that on the whole, the process appeared rushed.

“ACF notes that the allegation has since been denied by the 10th Senate as lacking in veracity. However, the interests of many communities in Northern Nigeria are at stake.

“Rather than the route of a rushed suspension of Senator Ningi, ACF prefers a thorough investigation of the allegation by some statutory or ad hoc committee of the Senate,” it said.

The statement regrets that Bauchi Central will be without representation in the 10th Senate for the next three months and stands with Senator Ningi and his supporters in whatever constitutional means they seek to respond with a satisfactory denouement to this sad development.

ACF called on the 10th Senate to act with more circumspection and sensitivity in processing criticism of its operations, stressing that robust debates on public policy issues undoubtedly strengthen the development of the democratic project.

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