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Rowdy session as senate adopts amended timetable for 2019 elections

Rowdy session as senate adopts amended timetable for 2019 elections
February 14
12:51 2018
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The senate has adopted the amended timetable for the 2019 elections.

The upper legislative chamber adopted the timetable after it considered the recommendations of a conference committee report on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act.

The house of representatives had changed the order of the timetable for the election by amending the act.

On the floor of the senate on Wednesday, after Suleiman Nazif, chairman of the committee on INEC, presented the report, Senate President Bukola Saraki put it to a voice vote.

Before he put it to vote, he said: “Let me remind us on where the procedures are for conference report, very simple and straight forward. You either adopt the report or you reject the report.”

After it was adopted, Ovie Omo-Agege, senator representing Delta central, stood up to give a personal explanation on the matter but was ruled out of order.

Also, Kabiru Gaya, senator representing Kano south, wondered why the issue of the amended timetable would be brought up when it was never discussed at the senate.

“The conference committee shall deliberate only within the senate and the house of representatives. The conference committee shall not insert in its report any matter not committee to it by either senate or house of representatives,” Gaya said.

“This report of sequence of election was never discussed in the senate here. So why are we bringing it up here?”

At this point, Saraki said: “You are a ranking senator and I have all the utmost respect for you. Distinguished colleagues in my comments, I said this institution we must protect it.

“I know this politics is local and I appreciate that. As much as it is local, we also have to maintain integrity of this institution. So I have heard you and I am sure your constituency too has heard you. But I am sorry I have to rule you out of order.”

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