N3trn Budget Padding Saga: Akpabio Told To Resign

Senate President Godswill Akpabio

APC chieftain Francis Okoye has lent his support to the suspension of embattled Bauchi Central senator, Abdul Ahmed Ningi, while also expressing his backing for the leadership of Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Okoye’s stance, outlined in an exclusive interview with Legit.ng, firmly opposes calls for Akpabio’s resignation, asserting that the Senate President has not committed any wrongdoing.

Responding to the uproar surrounding allegations of a N3.7 trillion budget padding, Francis Okoye, convener of APC South-East Coalition, rebuffed calls for Godswill Akpabio resignation, questioning the basis for such demands. “Resignation is far from it,” Okoye declared, dismissing the notion as “balderdash and uncalled for.”


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The genesis of this controversy lies in the suspension of Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi by the Senate, following his claims regarding discrepancies in the 2024 budget.

The PDP subsequently called for Akpabio’s resignation to facilitate an impartial inquiry into the alleged budget padding. However, Okoye contended that Ningi’s suspension was justified, attributing it to the senator’s agenda against the Senate leadership.


Okoye further defended the Senate’s right to sanction members found culpable of misconduct, citing Ningi’s failure to substantiate his allegations during Senate proceedings. He emphasized the importance of evidence in such matters, asserting that unsubstantiated claims only sow discord.

Regarding the broader issue of budget padding, Okoye acknowledged its historical precedent but maintained that the National Assembly possesses the authority to adjust budget allocations. He clarified that such adjustments, though often misconstrued as padding, are within the legislative prerogative.

In response to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s dismissal of the budget padding allegations, Okoye refrained from delving into electoral considerations, urging a focus on governance instead. He emphasized the nascent tenure of Tinubu’s administration, asserting that discussions about reelection campaigns are premature.

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Amidst the unfolding saga, Senator Ningi resigned as chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, with his remarks continuing to evoke widespread reactions.


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