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13 August 2018

Senate may back out of tomorrow’s resumption

The Senate may back out of the planned resumption of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

A source close to the leadership of the Senate said that the planned resumption of the National Assembly was still being considered.

House Deputy Speaker Yusuff Lasun told reporters last week that the National Assembly would reconvene tomorrow to consider pending national issues.

Lasun noted that the leadership of the National Assembly decided to reconvene following their meeting with the INEC chairman on the need for the National Assembly to approve the INEC budget.

President Muhammadu Buhari requested the approval of a N242 billion budget for the conduct of the 2019 elections.

The National Assembly failed to approve the budget before it proceeded on vacation on July 24.

The leadership of the two chambers scheduled to meet on August 7, 2018 to consider the request.

The meeting failed to hold following the blockade of the National Assembly complex by operatives of the Department of State Services.

It was gathered that “the growing tension, accusations and counter accusations going on in the National Assembly may force the Senate not to reconvene on Tuesday.”

He noted that “it is obvious that the Presidency is not helping matters”.

He added, “The procedure to reconvene the Senate and indeed the National Assembly is clear. After due consultations, the Clerk to the National Assembly will be mandated to publish a notice of resumption to inform senators and members of the House of Representatives of a new date for resumption of plenary.

“Have you seen any notice asking Senators and House members to attend a special session? There is no rocket science about some of these things. There is a procedure which ought to be followed, unless somebody wants to break due process. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has told anybody anything about resumption. The information can still come but for now some of us are not aware of anything.”

Reminded that the House may have concluded arrangements to reconvene on Tuesday, he said: “If the House reconvenes and considers the INEC budget, whatever members of the House decide will be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence.”

Efforts to get the confirmation of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, were unsuccessful as his telephone lines were switched off.


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