Deji Elumoye and James Emejo in Abuja
Barely 24 hours to the supposed resumption of the National Assembly to pass a supplementary budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and also attend to other matters of national importance, no official communication has been received by the lawmakers, THISDAY has learnt
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yusuf Lasun, had stated that the lawmakers who went on recess on July 24, would reconvene tomorrow to consider some executive communications before it, including the 2018 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, containing estimates for INEC to conduct the 2019 general election.
In addition, the lawmakers are expected to make a resolution on the recent invasion of the National Assembly during the special session.
But in a telephone chat yesterday, spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abdulrasaq Namdas told THISDAY that members were still on lawful recess, adding that there had been no date or communication directing them to resume at any specific time.
He said though various media reports had indicated the parliament would resume between today (Tuesday) and tomorrow, there was no official communication to members as at press time yesterday.
Also, a ranking member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Muhammed Monguno (APC, Borno), also confirmed Namdas’ position that no there was no official communication directing members to resume.
He added that though the reconvening might still be communicated via network news last night.
Also, the Chairman of the South-east Caucus in the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, confirmed that no information had been passed to any legislator as regards the resumption of the lawmakers.
Abaribe said the National Assembly leadership might be considering the absence of several legislators who had travelled outside the country since they went on annual recess on July 24.
“The lawmakers that are overseas on vacation will have to be given enough time to return home. They will have to reschedule their flights and this will take sometimes and this may be a possible reason for non-reconvening of the National Assembly.
The Senator representing Abia North said at the right time the leadership would reconvene the National Assembly, adding that there are procedures for doing that.
According to him, “the Assembly rules are very simple that both the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives after consulting with leaders of all the political parties in the National Assembly will direct the Clerk of the National Assembly to recall the legislators from recess”.
The Senate Standing Order 2015 (Rule 12(1-3) ) as amended is in line with Senator Abaribe’s position.
Rule 12 (1-3) states :”Whenever the Senate shall stand adjourned to a date not fixed and it is represented to the President of the Senate by the leaders of the political parties in the Senate that the Senate shall meet on a certain time, the President of the Senate shall give notice accordingly and the Senate shall meet on the date and at the time stated in the notice.
“Whenever the Senate stands adjourned either to a date fixed by the rule of the Senate or to a date determined in accordance with paragraph (1) of this Rule and it is represented by the leaders of the political parties in the Senate to the President of the Senate and the public interest requires that the Senate should meet on an earlier or a later date or time than that on which it stands adjourned, the President of the Senate may give notice accordingly and the Senate shall meet on the date and at the time stated in the notice.
“When the President of the Senate shall have given notice in accordance with either of the two proceeding paragraphs, the Clerk shall communicate the terms of the notice to each Senator “