First-term senators are not allowed to run for the positions of Senate president or deputy.

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admin October 4, 2023
Updated 2023/10/04 at 8:39 AM

On Tuesday, October 3, the Senate made changes to its standing orders, preventing first-term senators from running for the positions of Senate president and deputy Senate president.

This decision was made partly in response to Senator Abdulaziz Yari, a first-term senator who had previously served in the House of Representatives, challenging Senator Godswill Akpabio for the role of Senate president.

As a result of the amendment, first-term senators are now ineligible to compete for these leadership positions in the Senate.

The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC – Ekiti Central), proposed a motion to amend rule 3(2) (1-3) of the Senate Standing Orders. The motion, titled “Amendment of the Standing Orders of the Senate pursuant to Order 109 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022 (As Amended),” was approved.

As a result, the amended rule 3 now states that any senator vying for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President must have served at least one term in the Senate.

Additionally, the Senate also amended its rules to establish nine new Standing Committees, bringing the total number of committees to 74.

The plenary session on Tuesday saw the passing of the new standing rules.

However, it has been pointed out that the new amendment goes against the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, specifically from Section 47 to 52, particularly Section 50(1)(a). This section states that there should be a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who are elected by the members of the house from among themselves.

Godwill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, won the election and became the Senate President of the 10th Assembly in June 2023. He was the preferred candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Akpabio received 63 votes, defeating Abdulazeez Yari, a former Governor of Zamfara State, who received 46 votes.

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