Lack of quorum forces Senate to adjourn plenary



An apparent lack of quorum on Thursday forced the Senate to adjourn abruptly at about 1.40pm.

It was observed that majority of the Senators earlier present at the session had vacated their seats, leaving only few of their colleagues.

Senator Abba Moro, apparently uncomfortable with the near empty Senate, drew the attention of the Senate President to the development through a point of order.

Citing Order 10 of the Senate Standing Rules, Moro who represents Benue South, noted that the proceedings of the Senate cannot continue due to lack of quorum.

Order 10 (1&2) of the Senate Standing Rules reads: “The quorum of the Senate shall be one third of the members of the Senate…If, 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 within debate.”

Responding, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, noted that Moro’s observation was “your opinion” as the Senate had the necessary quorum to debate the remaining two motions on the Order Paper.

He added that since the Senate had formed a quorum before commencing and during the session, those that were no longer inside the Chamber may have gone to the tea room or to conveniences within the Chamber.

The Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi, said he had read the mood of the Senate and sought the leave of the Senate President to move a motion for adjournment to Tuesday next week.

The motion was duly seconded by the Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.

When Lawan put the question on the adjournment to voice vote, it was approved by the the few senators available.




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