- Senators from the APC and the PDP on Wednesday, March 13 traded words in the upper chambers of the National Assembly
- The senators were deliberating on the conduct of the controversial 2019 general elections
- The elections continues to be subject to debates over the controversy that trailed the conduct of the polls
Senators from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday, March 13 traded words in the upper chambers of the National Assembly.
The heated exchanges were due to the conduct of the just concluded 2019 general elections.
The disagreements began after a Point of Order raised by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi, APC), in which he called on the Senate to debate the way and manner the elections were conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country.
According to him, the debate would place the Senate in a pole position to advice President Muhammadu Buhari appropriately, as well as urge him to sign the amended Electoral Act for better polls in future.
The proposed motion, however, did not go down well with some senators, especially those of the APC extraction.
Attempt by President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, to obtain leave of the chamber to allow Melaye present his motion at the next legislative day was resisted by the ruling party lawmakers.
Saraki then ruled that what was needed to allow the motion was one-fifth of the leave of the Senate.
Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan took the floor to remind Saraki that his ruling on whether to allow the motion or not was not clear.
Lawan said: “A non-partisan motion was on the floor. We didn’t hear your ruling. What was your ruling on the motion? We did not hear your ruling.”
Saraki reiterated that what was needed to approve the motion to be debated was one-fifth of the leave of the Senate. He said one-fifth leave of the Senate was secured.
“My ruling is that the motion will be listed on the Order Paper for the next legislative day,” Saraki replied Lawan.
On his part, Senator Jibrin Barau (Kano, APC) called for division of the upper chamber to determine the position of senators on the motion, but his suggestion was rejected by Saraki, who insisted that what was required to allow the motion was one-fifth leave of the Senate.
Saraki further assured that the motion would first be screened at the leadership level before presentation and debate in the chamber.
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Meanwhile, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) has called for an independent inquiry into the conduct of 2019 general elections.
The group made the call at a press conference addressed by its convener, Mr. Clement Nwankwo on Sunday, March 10.
The group said the inquiry should address many issues that have bedeviled the conduct of the polls including procurement, logistics management, role of the military and abuse of process by INEC officials amongst others.
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