N3.7t Budget Padding: You Can’t Suppress Investigation – PDP Replies Senate Leadership


…Urges President Tinubu to review 2024 budget

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday, March 15, 2024 declared that the incoherent, knee-jerk and dismissive press statement by the Senator Godswill Akpabio-led Senate are clear manifestation that it is jittery that an open and detailed investigation into the allegation will further expose the perpetrators and how money was allegedly shared among APC lawmakers.

The PDP therefore faulted the attempts to use diversionary press statements to suppress the demand for an open investigation into the alleged improper insertion of N3.7 trillion for non-existing projects in the 2024 budget, stressing that the press statement further confirms the presence of an APC budget cabal in the Senate.

The opposition Party said that the Akpabio-led APC leadership in the Senate ought to know that no amount of threats, harassment, suspension of whistle blowers and attempts to blackmail the opposition through diversionary press statements and sponsored articles in a section of the media can suppress the demand for an open investigation into the alleged budget padding which is already in the public domain.

It also accused Akpabio-led APC leadership of the Senate of  being so insensitive and does not care about the welfare of the Nigerian people.

The opposition PDP said that it was highly provocative particularly at this time when Nigerians are passing through severe economic hardship, for the APC leadership in the Senate to be busy defending and frustrating investigation into allegation of massive manipulation and looting of resources meant for the wellbeing of the citizens.

These were contained in a statement by Hon Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP in which he said that Nigerians are however not deterred by attacks by the APC leadership in the Senate which is a clear case of corruption fighting back in the face of public scrutiny.

According to the PDP; “The failure by the Akpabio-led APC leadership to allow for investigation into the budget padding allegation constitutes a huge smear on the image of the Senate and destroys its rectitude and integrity to perform its Constitutional duty to investigate and oversight other public institutions; a situation that spells doom to our Constitutional democracy if not immediately checked.

“If Senator Akpabio has nothing to fear, he should immediately recall Senator Abdul Ningi and allow for an open and detailed investigation into the allegation of discrete insertion of N3.7 trillion into the 2024 budget.

“Our Party, standing shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians, insists that Senator Akpabio should step aside and allow for a credible investigation, as he cannot be a judge in this matter,” the Party said.

The PDP also calls on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to restore the integrity of the 2024 budget by immediately ordering an open investigation into the alleged insertion as well as a holistic review of the budget.

The Party said that it stands by its demand that Senator Akpabio should report at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation into the alleged looting of N108 billion belonging to the people of Akwa Ibom State and the N86 billion alleged contract scam under his watch as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs respectively.

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