First-time Senators Barred From Contesting Senate President, Deputy

The Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, amended its rule to bar first-time senators from contesting for the positions of the Senate President and deputy Senate President.

The amendment of Senate Standing Order 3 followed a motion sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele to effect and adopted by voice vote.

Prior to the amendment, all the 109 senators, irrespective of ranking, were free to contest the Senate presiding officers’ positions.

The Rule 3 of the Senate Standing Order had stated that nomination for presiding officers shall be in accordance with the ranking of senators.

It said, “In determining the ranking, the following Order shall apply: (i) senators returning based on the number of times re-elected; (ii) senators who had been members of the House of Representatives and (iii) Senators elected as senators for the first time.”

But following the new amendment, any senator vying for the positions of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President must have served at least one-term in the Senate.

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

Bamidele, while presenting the motion on amendment of the senate standing order, said that there were a number of rules that required amendment in order to give legislative support to more committees.

He said the amendment notice has been circulated to the senators in accordance with the existing Order 109 Rule 2 of the Senate standing orders.

Also at the plenary, the Senate carried out nine other amendments aimed at accommodating new standing committees.

The new panels are: Committee on Atomic and Nuclear Energy, Committee on Federal Capital Territory Area Council and Auxiliary Matters, Committee on Federal Capital Territory and Committee on Sports Development.

Others are; Committee on Youth and Community engagement , Committee on Mines and Steel Development, Committee on Tourism and Committee on Culture and Creative Economy.

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