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CNPP, CSOs insist on thorough Investigation of N3bn 2024 Budget Padding Allegation

...Says Senator Jarigbe's Revelation a clue to Corruption in the Senate

Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and over 75 allied civil society organisations under the umbrella of the National Civil Society Organisations Against Inept Leaders, have insisted on thorough and independent investigation of the alleged 2024 budget padding by Senator Abdul Ningi despite the suspension of the Senator for three months, saying that their 14-day ultimatum stands.

In their statement jointly signed by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of CNPP, Comrade James Ezema, and the National Secretary of the coalition of CSOs, Alhaji Ali Abacha, the bodies noted that the Senate plenary on Tuesday was “obviously teleguided to an obvious scripted end.”

They also noted that “in the cause of the debate on the budget padding allegation, the Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District, Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe made a shocking disclosure that ranking Senators received as high as N500 million from the 2024 budget, saying, “All of us are culpable. Some so-called Senior Senators here got 500 million 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.”

“Even though Senator Jeriagbe’s mic was abruptly shot down and the floor of the Senate immediately became rowdy, the revelation shows that there are more happening in the Senate than Nigerians know. Senator Jeriagbe’s revelation is indeed a clue to corruption in the Senate under the current leadership.

“We, therefore, insist that the budget padding allegation and the revelation by Senator Jeriagbe must be independently investigated if the Senate can come clear on the matter.

“It is unacceptable for the President of the Senate to seat as Chairman of an investigative plenary where allegation against him was being debated.

“Nigerians saw how interested Senators moved here and there at the senate chamber while the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio rose to read some senate rules empowering him to mute any senator speaking at plenary at his own whims and caprices.

“We are resolute that the only way for the senate to come clean on the budget padding allegation is after an independent probe has been carried out, especially in view of the Senator Jeriagbe’s disclosure and our 14-day ultimatum for the Senate to step aside for independent probe stands”, the CNPP and the CSOs coalition said.

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