Senate amends rules, adopts new mode of electing presiding officers
The Senate has approved a simple majority for the election of presiding officers following the amendment of its Standing Rules 2015
The lawmakers also retained a closed ballot system for the election of the President of the Senate and the deputy. The amendment followed the consideration of a motion pursuant to Order III of the Senate Standing Rules 2015.
The motion was sponsored by Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Suleiman Sadiq Umar (Kwara North) and the Vice Chairman/Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North).
The committee had proposed a two-thirds majority in its report. Senator James Manager (PDP: Delta South) backed a two-thirds majority for the election of officers.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC: Ogun Central), on his part, kicked against the adoption of a simple majority.
Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC: Imo West) proposed an amendment for a two-thirds majority spread across all geo-political zones of the country.
His mooted amendment failed owing to the refusal of legislators to second the move.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, however, cautioned that an amendment in the direction of a two-thirds majority could be exploited to stall the inauguration and election of presiding officers.
Majority lawmakers, who were swayed by the observation, accordingly voted in support of a simple majority for the election of presiding officers.
The committee chairman, Senator Umar, in his presentation, recalled that the Senate Standing Orders were last amended in 2015, “to accommodate issues that will make such Orders dynamic to facilitate effective legislative process.”
He noted that despite the amendment, there was a number of issues that required further review in response to emerging developments for enhanced rules of practice and procedure for sound legislation to tackle such developments.