Malfunctioning Microphones Leads to Drama in Senate

Following the inability of the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, to address the Senate from his seat because his microphone failed to function, drama ensued n Tuesday on the floor of the Senate.

Abdullahi was about to move a motion for the Senate to observe a minute’s silence and suspension of plenary in honour of a late House of Representatives member, Jafaru Illiyasu Auna who represented Rijau/Magama Federal Constituency of Niger State before his death before giving up the ghost in Abuja on Sunday.

Despite efforts made by the Sergeant-At-Arms and other National Assembly staff on chamber duties to make the mic work, they all proved abortive.

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Due to this situation, Senate President Ahmad Lawan had to approve that the Senate Leader should speak from a microphone in another seat in apparent violation of the standing orders of the upper chamber.

“Leader, you are the Leader of the Senate, you can speak from anywhere,” Lawan said.

Section 11 (2) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015, as amended states that “A Senator may only speak from the seat allocated to him, provided that the President of the Senate may change the allocation from time to time.”

The Senate Leader, therefore, moved over to the seat of Senator Jibrin Barau where he moved his motion.

Similarly, Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, could not also use the microphone on his seat to second the motion due to the same technical issue. He had to also move to Barau’s seat which is located on the majority side of the aisle to second the motion.

The drama ensued when Abaribe was about to move to the seat to move the motion. There were an uproar from some All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators who moved to stop him from switching the seat to use a microphone on the majority side to second the motion.

In his intervention, the National Assembly leader pointed that: “Today is not our usual day so if the Minority Leader is in an unusual seat, it is because the occasion demands it.”

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Speaking before seconding the motion, Abaribe said he is reluctantly using Jibrin Barau’s microphone to second his motion “which is telling us that the renovation for this chamber should be on the top burner.”

Lawan had some weeks ago observed that the temperature in the Senate chamber was too high apparently as a result of malfunctioning air conditioners.

The upper chamber, however, adjourned proceedings to Wednesday after it observed a minute silence in honour of the late lawmaker.

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