ABUJA Following their inability to form a quorum, the Senate of the Federal Republic yesterday, has adjourned sitting till today.
This is just as the House of Representatives has stepped down the second reading of the 2019 Appropriation Bill for a second time.
This is about the fifth time the Senate will adjourn the session due to absence of the lawmakers at the plenary session.
The Senate Standing Rules Order 10(1) states: The quorum of the Senate shall be one third of the members of the Senate.
(2) (ii) at any time during the daily sessions of the Senate, a question is raised by any Senator as to the presence of a quorum, the presiding officer shall within fifteen minutes forthwith, direct the Clerk to call the roll and announce the result, and these proceedings shall be without debate.
(3) Whenever after such roll call, it shall be ascertained that a quorum is not present, the President of the Senate may direct Sergeant-At Arms to request and, when necessary, to compel the attendance of the absent Senators, which order shall be determined without debate; and pending its execution, and until a quorum shalt be present, no debate nor motion, except to adjourn or to suspend sitting shalt be in order.
As at 10:30 am yesterday, when Senate President Bukola Saraki called for the resumption of legislative proceedings for the week, only eight senators were present at the Senate Chamber
The senators present at yesterday plenary were: Bukola Saraki, Olushola Adeyeye, Gbenga Ashafa, Emmanuel Bwacha, Andrew Uchendu, Solomon Adokwe, Francis Aliemekena, and Shaba Lafiaji.
As a result, the Chief Whip, Sen. Olusola Adeyeye, moved for adjournment because the number of lawmakers available could not form a quorum as required.
The motion was seconded by the Senate Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda (FCT).
The Senate was expected to have kick-start the N8.7 trillion Budget package presented to the National Assembly last year by President Mohammadu Buhari.
They were also expected to have received an executive on a new National Minimum Wage.
It was also gathered from sources close to the National Assembly that the Federal legislators would embark on a four-week recess, for their respective political campaigns.
According to the sources, the lawmakers will reconvene after the presidential elections and gubernatorial elections, and sit for one week before adjourning again for the National Assembly and State Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has stepped down the second reading of the 2019 Appropriation Bill for a second time.
This is to enable members to properly study the bill before the commencement of the debate on it.
The Bill was first stepped down on January 16 due to poor circulation of copies of the bill to lawmakers.
According to the Deputy Speaker who is presiding over plenary, the second reading will now take place on January 23, 2019.
Source: The Nigerian Observer