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Reps may reverse self on sitting procedures

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Members of the House of Representatives at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

Members of the House of Representatives at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

The House of Representatives has announced that it may reverse its procedures on standing orders, in line with the rules.

House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said the plan was to make the lawmakers to adhere to its self-regulatory norms.

He said the members’ old procedure of bringing up matters for instant debate had been a breach of the rule, which must be corrected.

Gbajiabiamila explained that the streamlining of the law had begun and would be consolidated upon when the House resumes next week.

Contrary to the House’s Order 8 (4), which is the standing rules that it had breeched for nearly a decade, members raised matters of urgent public importance that would be considered in the next legislative day.

But the standing order reads: (1) “That the matter for discussion shall, if possible, be referred to the Speaker prior to the commencement of the day’s sitting and the Speaker shall refuse to allow the claim, unless he is satisfied that the matter is definite and urgent.

(1) “The text of the matter shall be submitted in writing to the Speaker prior to the sitting of the House.

(3) “If the claim is allowed by the Speaker and the leave of the House is given by the majority of members present, the matter shall stand over till the next legislative day.

(4) “Not more than two of such motions shall be made at the same sitting,” to guide members who may wish to bring up matters for urgent debate.

The Guardian learnt that the lawmakers’ proceedings had often delayed the House businesses of the day.

In the old order, a willing member sought the recognition of the presiding officer to bring up any matter that was considered to be urgent.

It was learnt that the need to allow a matter to be taken the following day is to enable the Speaker to scrutinise and prioritise it for discussion.

“But, this must stop as we have resolved to start doing the right thing,” Gbajiabiamila said.

Prior to the vacation of the House last month, the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Orker Jev, drew members’ attention to the provision of its rules, which the lawmakers had been citing inappropriately.



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