First-Time Senators Barred From Senate Presidency Contest

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The Senate on Tuesday amended its Standing Order to bar first time senators from contesting the positions of the senate president and deputy.
The amendment followed a motion by the Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), during Tuesday’s plenary.
Senate President Godswill Akpabio announced amendment after majority of the senators supported it through a voice vote.
Prior to the amendment, all the 109 senators, irrespective of ranking, were free to contest the presiding officers’ positions.
The Rule 3 of the Senate Standing Order had stated that nomination for presiding officers shall be in accordance with the ranking of senators.
It said, “In determining the ranking, the following Order shall apply: (i) senators returning based on the number of times re-elected; (ii) senators who had been members of the House of Representatives and (iii) Senators elected as senators for the first time.”
The senators on Tuesday amended the Rule 3 to state that any senator vying for the positions of the Senate President and Deputy Senate must have served at least one-term in the Senate.
The amendment came months after a fierce contest for the 10th National Assembly leadership positions on June 13.
Akpabio elected to the position in a keenly contested poll shaped by intrigues, acrimony and high-wired politics and which observers described as a heavily monetized election due to the role money played in the race.
Akpabio polled 63 votes to defeat his lone challenger, Abdulaziz Yari, a first time senator, who secured 46 votes.
Additional committees
The Senate also amended its rules to accommodate creation of additional nine standing committees, raising the panels to 83.
Bamidele while presenting the motion on amendment of the senate standing order said that there were a number of rules that require amendment inorder to give legislative support to more committees.
He said the amendment notice has been circulated to the senators in accordance with the existing Order 109 Rule 2 of the Senate standing orders.
The new panels are: Committee on Atomic and Nuclear Energy, Committee on Federal Capital Territory Area Council and Auxiliary Matters, Committee on Federal Capital Territory and Committee on Sports Development.
Others are: Committee on Youth and Community engagement , Committee on Mines and Steel Development, Committee on Tourism and Committee on Culture and Creative Economy.




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