Budget Padding: Refer allegations to EFCC, ICPC, reinstate Ningi – SERAP tells Akpabio

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged Senate President, Godswill Akpabio to “urgently refer the allegations that lawmakers padded the 2024 budget to the tune of N3.7 trillion to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for investigation and prosecution.


SERAP also urged Akpabio to immediately reinstate suspended Senator Abdul Ningi over his allegations that the lawmakers padded the 2024 budget by irregularly inserting projects worth N3.7 trillion.


According to the organization, the Senate should make a public commitment to discontinue the patently unlawful constituency projects in the next budget cycle.


This was contained in a letter signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, on Saturday.


Oluwadare said, “Referring the allegations to appropriate anticorruption agencies would be consistent with the lawmakers’ oath of office and the letter and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution 1999.”


The statement said what Senator Ningi has done is a positive act of good citizenship, adding that no whistleblower should be penalised simply for making a public interest disclosure.


“Referring the allegations to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would improve public trust in the ability of the leadership of the Senate to ensure probity and accountability in the budget process.”


“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel you and the Senate to comply with our requests in the public interest,” part of the statement read.

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  1. Akpabio and the Senate. For those who do not understand what budget padding is all about, make your findings and see how much Akpabio and his colleagues budgeted for single electric poll, check how much it will take to dig a borehole etc. These are in hundreds of millions but these projects are not going to be done. When Akpabio will leave the senate, do a check and you will find out what his mission was in the first place.


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