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Atiku demands investigation into budget padding allegations

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Peoples Democratic Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has vehemently called for an immediate and thorough investigation into the alleged N3.7 trillion padding of the 2024 Budget, firmly stating that mere denials are insufficient.

Atiku posted this via his official X handle on Thursday night, 14th March, 2024.

Recall Tribune Online reported that the Senate suspended Senator Abdul Ningi from Bauchi Central for a period of three months, following his claims during an interview, where he alleged that the National Assembly inflated the 2024 budget to N28.7 trillion.

During the interview conducted on Saturday, Ningi asserted that despite the National Assembly approving a budget of N25 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year, the Presidency is executing one worth N28.7 trillion.

Reacting to these developments, Atiku issued a statement on Thursday expressing serious concern, stressing that such allegations cast doubts on the integrity of the 2024 Appropriation Act, which forms the cornerstone of the nation’s annual planning and development.

Highlighting findings by a fiscal policy analytics and advocacy organization, Atiku emphasized a perceived lack of transparency within the 2024 Appropriation Act.

He stated, “Moreover, the abrupt suspension of the whistle-blower Senator, without sufficient explanation, has only exacerbated the situation, leaving us with more questions than answers.

“I demand an immediate and comprehensive investigation into these allegations. Appropriation is fundamental to governance, and any deviation from serving the people’s interests will face strong opposition.

“Denials are not enough, and the suspension of one senator cannot silence allegations of corruption and unlawful fiscal expenditure by the federal government.

“Without clear elucidation to the people of Nigeria, we must treat these allegations as they are: blatant fraud.”

The former vice president stressed that the government cannot brush aside accusations of budget padding amounting to N3 trillion. He urged President Bola Tinubu’s administration to handle this allegation with transparency.

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The statement further read, “Given the current challenges facing our nation, a padded budget is already leading to inflated hunger, poverty, insecurity, energy crises, forex instability, and escalating living costs.

“The people of Nigeria cannot overlook allegations that exacerbate our already dire economic situation.

“The Tinubu administration must address these high-profile corruption cases transparently. The National Assembly, as the elected representatives of the people, are constitutionally obligated to legislate for the peace, order, and good governance of our nation, without colluding with corrupt elements. Failure to do so and persisting in denial will only confirm the government’s complicity in official malpractice.-AA.”


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