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BREAKING: Senate President Akpabio Charged to Court Over Budget Padding

Senate President Godswill Akpabio charged to court over accusations of budget padding and whistleblower retaliation.

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio

Senate President Godswill Akpabio charged to court over accusations of budget padding and whistleblower retaliation.

The lawsuit, filed in the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleges that Akpabio failed to refer budget padding allegations for investigation and wrongfully suspended Senator Abdul Ningi, who exposed discrepancies in the federal budget.

These allegations shed light on the contentious issue of budget integrity and accountability within the Nigerian government.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has escalated legal action against Senate President Godswill Akpabio, accusing him of failing to refer alleged instances of budget padding for investigation and improperly suspending Senator Abdul Ningi, who blew the whistle on the matter.

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VerseNews reports that the lawsuit, filed under case number FHC/ABJ/CS/452/2024 at the Federal High Court in Abuja on April 5, involves Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP’s deputy director, and Mrs. Adelanke Aremo as plaintiffs.

The development was revealed in a statement released to journalists on April 7. Akpabio stands accused not only in his personal capacity but also on behalf of the Upper Chamber lawmakers.

This legal action follows the contentious three-month suspension of Senator Ningi from Bauchi Central senatorial district, who alleged on BBC Hausa that the federal government led by President Bola Tinubu implemented a budget of N28.7tn, differing from the N25tn debated and passed by the national assembly.

Ningi’s claims pointed to significant budget padding during Akpabio’s tenure, underscoring the seriousness of the allegations now brought before the court.

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“We discovered N3tn was inserted into the budget for projects without locations. This is the highest budget padding that happened in Nigerian history under Senator Akpabio’s watch,” Ningi said.

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