Senate Suspension Of Ningi, Hasty, Coordinated Cover-up – HURIWA Says


Civil Rights Advocacy group on the aegis of ‘HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)’ has described the hurried suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi over the allegation of N3trillion padding for the 2024 budget by the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio as hasty and a coordinated cover-up.

Senator Ningi had accused the Senator Godswill Akpabio-led National Assembly of padding the 2024 budget with about N3trillion, claiming the country was running two Appropriation Acts with one passed by the lawmakers.

HURIWA in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the suspension will inevitably be interpreted as a negative sign that the National Assembly that ought to be the bastion of civil democracy is being turned into a secret society since the Senators failed to conduct a public probe of the damaging allegations made by the Bauchi state born senator Abdul Ningi.

While condemning the suspension, HURIWA noted that the Senators behaved like political thugs, adding that they were indecorous during the session leading to the suspension of Senator Ningi.

It noted that the Senate in session on Tuesday was rowdy as the lawmakers demanded answers from their colleague, Abdul Ningi, over his claims about the 2024 budget.

In an interview with the BBC Hausa service, Senator Ningi alleged that the president ran two budgets with N3.7tn yet to be accounted for.

HURIWA noted that during the Senate plenary, Senator Olamileken Adeola moved a motion for the matter to be investigated and was seconded by Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas (Delta South), who criticised Ningi’s comments, saying that the remark was “not only presumptuous, but scandalous and an attempt to incite the public against the National Assembly.

HURIWA particularly said the hasty suspension of Senator Ningi being the originator of such a huge body of allegations against the Senate, was simply an act of legislative cowardice orchestrated by the Senate’s hierarchy so as to conceal the truth from the members of the public.

According to HURIWA; “The Senate ought to have set up a committee to investigate the allegations and allow the members of the Nigerian public to follow up the process so as to get to the very roots of it with a view to ascertaining the veracity or otherwise of such an extensively damaging allegations.

“But instead, the Senate used legislative blackmail, sledgehammer and threats to shut up Senator Abdul Ningi and we the people of Nigeria think that this is an attempt to hide the truth from us. This is unconstitutional and undemocratic,” HURIWA said.

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