First-time senators barred from becoming Senate President

Written by on October 4, 2023

The Senate, on Tuesday, amended its rule to restrict first-time senators from vying for the position of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President.

The amendment to Section 2(1)(2) and (3) followed a motion by the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, titled, “Amendment to the Standing Orders of the Senate Pursuant to Order 109 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022.”

This amendment comes amidst rumours of alleged moves by northern lawmakers to impeach the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

A former Zamfara State governor, Senator Abdulaziz Yari, a first-time senator, had contested for the position of Senate President but lost out to Akpabio, who was the anointed candidate of President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress.

It is believed that the amendment targets prominent first-time senators in the Senate, including Yari.

But Bamidele, in his motion, explained that the Senate Standing Rule was amended to create new committees.

He said, “There are a number of issues that require further amendments to provide for the creation of additional committees of the Senate in response to emerging developments that will enhance rules of procedure for sound legislative practice.

“These developments have made it imperative to further amend the Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended), occasioned by the creation of additional Senate Standing Committees and to have the functions and jurisdictions reflected in the Standing Orders of the Senate.

“The amendments have been circulated to senators in accordance with Order 109 Rule 2 the Senate Standing Orders.”

He  urged the Senate to “restrain first-time lawmakers from contesting for any of the presiding officers; Senate President and Deputy Senate President.”

The lawmakers then unanimously agreed to amend their rule to accommodate the prayers as moved by the Senate Leader.

The Senate also amended its rules to accommodate the creation of an additional nine standing committees, raising the panels to 83.


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