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2019 budget: Lack of quorum stalls Senate plenary

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The expected commencement of debate on the general principles of the N8.83trillion 2019 budget proposals suffered a set back in Senate on Tuesday, as the required quorum of 37 senators could not be formed.
Only 10 out of the 109 senators were present for plenary as at 10.35am in the morning, which led to adjournment of plenary to Wednesday 23, 2019.
During the five minutes sitting of the Senate, Senator Andrew Uchendu, representing APC Rivers East, had moved for adoption of votes and proceedings of sitting on Thursday January 17, 2019 and was seconded by the Senate Minority Whip, Philip Aduda, PDP FCT.
However, the Senate Majority Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, APC Osun Central, raised a point of order pointing out that plenary cannot continue because the number of members on seat did not form a quorum.
He was seconded by the Deputy Minority Whip, Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP Taraba South), and concurred to by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Both the Senate Standing Rule Order 10(1) and Section 54 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) required 37 senators which is one- third of the 109 senators.
The rule states: ”The quorum of the Senate shall be one third of the members of the Senate.
”(2) ii, at any time during the daily sessions of the Senate, a question is raised by any Senator as to the presence of a quorum, the presiding officer shall within fifteen minutes forthwith, direct the Clerk to take a roll call and announce the result, and these proceedings shall be without debate.
”(3) Whenever after such roll call, it shall be ascertained that a quorum is not present, the President of the Senate may direct Sergeant-At Arms to request and, when necessary, to compel the attendance of the absent Senators, which order shall be determined without debate; and pending its execution, and until a quorum shalt be present, no debate nor motion, except to adjourn or to suspend sitting shalt be in order.”
Senators in attendance were; Senate President Bukola Saraki, Olusola Adeyeye (Osun Central), Gbenga Ashafa ( Lagos West), Emmaneul Bwacha (Taraba), Shaba  Lafiagi (Kwara North), Solomon Adokwe (Nasarawa), Gbolahan Dada (Ogun West),Andrew Ochendo (Rivers East ), Francis Aliemekhena (Edo North) and Philip Aduda (FCT).

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