Controversy Over Senior Senators Who Got N500m From 2024 Budget Tears Senate Apart

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Tuesday plenary at the Senate was much rowdy in the Red Chamber as another issue of purported largesse to the tune of N500million set aside in the 2024 budget for each of some “senior Senators” added to controveries over alleged padding of the 2024 budget, further throw the Upper Chamber into confusion.

On Tuesday, a Point of Order raised by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, was hijacked by an event when Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe representing Cross River North, threw a bombshell when he revealed how some senior Senators got the sum of N500million from the 2024 budget.

Adeola, (APC Ogun West) raised a Point of Order against the allegation by former Senate Deputy leader and Chairman, Northern Senators Forum, Senator Abdul Ningi, PDP, Bauchi Central.

Ningi had raised the alarm of N3 trillion Budget Padding in the N28.7trillion 2024 Appropriation Act and that the budget passed by the National Assembly for 2024 fiscal year is N25trillion while the one being implemented by the Presidency is  N28.7trillion.

The Senators were divided on the matter. However, as they took turns to speak on the floor of the Senate, more revelations confounded the matter, when Jarigbe, a PDP senator said some senators got N500 million each but he did not get it.

“All of us are culpable. Some so-called Senior Senators here got N500million Naira each from the 2024 Budget, I am a ranking Senator and I didn’t get anything. No Senator has a right to accuse Senator Ningi,” Jarigbe said.

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio tried to restore calm on the floor..

Controversies engulfed the Senate since last weekend when in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Service) on Saturday, Senator Ningi said that the budget being implemented by the Presidency is N28.7trn, whereas the one approved by the National Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year is N25trn.

While the Senate refuted Ningi’s claim, the Presidency said the National Assembly is responsible for up-shooting the budget away from what President Bola Tinubu presented.

Although Ningi later clarified that his claim was that N3.7trn in the 2024 budget was tied to any project, he was suspended by the Senate at plenary on Tuesday for three months, just as he tendered a resignation as the Chairman of Northern Senators Forum.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu met behind closed-doors with the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday shortly after the chaotic session at the Senate.

While the details of the meeting held behind closed doors was undisclosed as at the time of filing this report, it was gathered it was not unconnected with the controversies which the Senate is presently engulfed with.

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