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Lack Of Quorum Forces Senate To Adjourn Plenary

23/01/2019 10:43

The Senate on Tuesday was forced to adjourn plenary due to lack of quorum.

This is the second time since June 9, 2015, when the National Assembly was inaugurated that the upper chamber failed to sit due to lack of quorum.

On November 13, 2018, the Senate was also forced to adjourn sitting following poor attendance.

Only 10 out of 109 senators attended Tuesday's aborted sitting.

The standing rule of the Senate states that not less than 37 senators, (1/3 of the Senate), must be in the chamber to form quorum before the legislative business of the day can commence.

This provision has however been observed in the breach more often than not since the inauguration of the National Assembly as the issue of quorum is seldom raised.

After prayer on Tuesday, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday 17th January 2019 were adopted.

Around 10:33am, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, raised a Point of Order and cited lack of quorum to continue proceedings and legislative business.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who presided, agreed with Adeyeye that the Senate lacked quorum to continue proceedings.

Adeyeye who stood in for the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, moved for adjournment.

The motion was seconded by the Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda.

Saraki put the motion for adjournment to a voice vote and it was carried.

The Senate President promptly adjourned sitting to Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

The Senators who came into the chamber around 10.30am spent less than five minutes before they adjourned.

Some of the lawmakers were overheard expressing disappointment for the lack of quorum.

One of them, however, said that the poor attendance of senators may not be unconnected with the February 16th, 2019 presidential and National Assembly election.

Apart from Saraki, Adeyeye, Aduda, other senators in the chamber included Andrew Uchendu, Gbenga Ashafa and Shaaba Lafiagi.

Others were Emmanuel Bwacha, Francis Alimikhena, Suleiman Adokwe and Gbolahon Dada.

The Order Paper for Tuesday's legislative business slated confirmation of three career ambassadors, introduction of a bill on mental health and substance abuse, reports of the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

Conference reports were also scheduled to be submitted.

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