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New Senate begins plenary late — contrary to its rules


The newly inaugurated senate started plenary late on Thursday, its first sitting after swearing in.

The development is contrary to the standing rules of the upper legislative chamber.

According to the rules of the senate, plenary is expected to commence at exactly 10:00am.

But on Thursday, the procession of Senate President Ahmad Lawan entered the red chamber at 10:21am and proceedings did not start till 10:35am.

Order 13 rule 2 states that: “On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the Senate shall meet at 10:00 am and unless previously adjourned shall sit until 2:00 pm unless before a substantive motion had been moved by the Leader of the Senate or a Senator acting in that capacity ‘that this senate do now adjourn’ and if such a motion be moved and if the question thereon has not previously been determined. at 2.00 pm. The President of the Senate shall adjourn the Senate without question being put.”

Speaking at the valedictory session to mark the end of the 8th senate,  Sola Adeyeye, former chief whip of the senate, had said lawmakers were in the habit of coming late for plenary.

“If I leave without also pointing out some of the things that we have done wrong, I believe I would not have done good service to this senate,” Adeyeye had said.

“For example, our rule say we should start at 10 o’clock, today we didn’t start until past 11 and that is not the fault of the senate president or deputy. Often times, we will get here at 10 but if we want to start, we will not form a quorum.

“The Nigerian national assembly, beginning with the senate, must set the example that 10am means 10am. At a time we tried it for three to four months, then we went back.”