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Senate clears National Assembly of budget padding

Senate Chamber

Protesting its innocence, the Senate yesterday declared that it could not have been complicit in the alleged padding of the N6.06 trillion 2016 budget by the House of Representatives when the National Assembly is the authority statutorily empowered to produce the nation’s fiscal plan.

Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume who made the assertion at a press conference in Abuja, also said the Senate cannot impeach the president because impeachment is not a one- man-show as the procedure will involve both chambers of the National Assembly and the Judiciary.

Also, the Deputy Chief Whip, House of Representatives, Pally Iriase yesterday faulted the allegation by the former chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumuni Jubrin that lawmakers actually padded the 2016 budget, saying Jubrin wanted to paint the house in bad light to save his face from the “economic murder he had wanted to perpetrate.”
But Jubrin seems to have found an ally in former president Olusegun Obasanjo who told State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa that he has been vindicated by the fresh allegations of budget padding against two key actors in the House of Representatives.
Ndume who promised that the Senate might intervene in the crisis bedeviling the lower chamber said: “I don’t want to say that there was budget padding and I don’t want to talk about something I really don’t know but what is happening in the House of Representatives is just very unfortunate because we have processes and procedure of doing things in the National Assembly.

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