By Henry Umoru & Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—The two arms of the National Assembly—Senate and House of Representatives— yesterday adjourned till March 12 due to their inability to form a quorum.
While only eight senators showed up for yesterday’s plenary in the Senate, 10 attended that of the House of Representatives.
Consequently, both arms have scheduled to resume sitting after the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections.
Of the eight senators in attendance were the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, APC, Yobe, raised a point of order that the Senate could not continue the day’s legislative work because the required quorum of one third was not formed.
The Senate requires 37 members to form one third of the 109 members.
According to Senator Lawan, many senators are still held back in their senatorial districts because they are yet to have the results of their election announced by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
He, therefore, moved that the Senate should adjourn sitting till March 12, even as he expressed hopes that INEC would conduct the governorship and State Assembly election on March 9 as scheduled.
Buhari declines assent to Oil Spill Bill
In the House of Representatives, plenary started at about 11:15 am, with only the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun; House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chairman, Rules and Business Committee, Edward Pwajok, and seven others in attendance.
Immediately after prayers, the presiding officer, Yakubu Dogara, read out a communication from President Buhari stating reasons he declined assent to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Amendment Bill, 2018.
In the communication, the President informed the House why he declined assent to the bill, stressing that it undermined the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
After reading the President’s letter, Dogara moved for adjournment.
“We have to adjourn till March 12 to enable our colleagues participate in the governorship and state Assembly elections,’’ he said.
He also explained that the House could not form a quorum to continue yesterday’s proceedings.