Senator Ningi Resumes Plenary After Three Months Suspension

The lawmaker representing Bauchi Central, Senator Abdul Ningi, has resumed his legislative duties in the upper chamber after a three-month suspension. 

He was suspended in March over budget padding claims.

But on Tuesday, Ningi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator, was sighted at the National Assembly premises in Abuja being driven in his black Toyota Landcruiser Jeep.

Approaching the NASS gate, he stopped briefly to exchange pleasantries with journalists who were on the ground to welcome him back.

“Members of the press, thank you very much,” the excited lawmaker told them. “I got all your messages.”

Recall Process

The senator was recalled on May 28, after a process was initiated by Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Abba Moro, who expressed regret on behalf of the suspended lawmaker. He pledged to assume full responsibility for Ningi’s actions, acknowledging the gravity of the suspension.

The senator’s conduct during the period of suspension has been a matter of scrutiny and debate within the legislative body.

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, announced the unconditional recall of Ningi after a brief plea by some lawmakers.

Akpabio emphasised the senator’s resourcefulness, and described him as a valued member of the Senate, adding that the decision to recall Ningi transcends religious and ethnic divides.

Ningi was recalled some two weeks to the end of his three-month suspension which is supposed to terminate on June 12, 2024.

History

On March 12, 2024, the Senate suspended Ningi over an allegation of N3.7trn padding of the 2024 Budget.

Ningi, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Bauchi Central Senatorial District, was suspended for three months after a long stormy session in the red chamber.

Akpabio, who had described Ningi’s offences as “grievous”, conducted a voice vote during which most of the lawmakers voted in support of Ningi’s suspension for three months.

Ningi’s Allegations

In an interview, Ningi claimed that the Federal Government was operating two versions of the 2024 budget, and that the N28.7trn Budget passed and signed into law by President Bola Tinubu was skewed against the North.

As a result, many Senators and the presidency pounced on Ningi, describing his claims as “far-fetched and unbecoming of a leader of his status”.

Ningi would later deny saying that the country was operating two budgets, however, insisted that only N25trn of the budget was tied to projects while N3.7trn had no project tied to it.

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