N’Assembly May Adjourn Sitting Today over House Member’s Death

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Deji Elumoye and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The two chambers of the National Assembly may adjourn sitting as soon as it reconvenes today in honour of the late member of the House, Hon. Ja’afaru Ilyasu representing Magamu/Rijau federal constituency in Niger State. Ilyasu, a member of the House Committee on Appropriation, died in his sleep yesterday morning at his Maitama, Abuja residence.

As is the tradition of both the Senate and House of Representatives, whenever any lawmaker dies, the plenary would have to be adjourned till the next day as a mark of respect for the deceased legislator.

For today’s plenary, once the presiding officers of the two chambers say the opening prayers and read the executive communications, if any, from the president, the leaders of the two Houses will formally move for the adjournment of the plenary till tomorrow in deference to Ilyasu, who died yesterday morning.

This development may affect the 2020 budget report which is expected to be laid before the Senate plenary today by the Chairman of Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibrin.

Jibrin had last week sought the permission of the upper chamber for a week grace for his committee to present the budget report today.

The committee chairman had last Tuesday, while explaining why the report was not ready for presentation at plenary, told his colleagues that although the committee had received and collated all the reports from the sub-committees, “but the whole report will not be ready for presentation until weekend, and I plead with the Senate to give us till next Tuesday to lay the report at plenary.”

That means the budget report will now be presented to Senate at plenary tomorrow by Senator Jibrin after which the Senate will consider it before passage.

The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, had also last week hinted that the N10.33 trillion 2020 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 8 may be passed by the two chambers tomorrow.

Lawan, who spoke while receiving in audience a delegation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), which paid him a courtesy visit, said both chambers of the National Assembly may pass the 2020 budget by tomorrow.

According to him, the Senate and House Committees on Appropriation sought a one week extension to enable them conclude work on the report of the 2020 Appropriations Bill to be laid on Tuesday.

He said: “We want to pass the 2020 budget before the end of the year. Actually, today would have been the day for laying the budget, but our committees on appropriations sought an extension by one week only. “By Tuesday next week, we expect the budget to be laid before the two chambers of the National Assembly. It is our desire to pass the budget the following day (Wednesday). So we are thinking that the budget would be laid on December 3, and by December 4, the Senate and the House of Representatives should be able to pass the 2020 budget.”

Meanwhile, the Senate president has expressed sadness over the sudden death of House member, Illiyasu.

Lawan in a statement by his Media Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, commiserated with the family of the deceased lawmaker and the government and people of Niger State, and prayed Almighty Allah to give them the fortitude to bear the “irreparable loss.”

He also condoled with the leadership and members of the House of Representatives on the death of their colleague, and prayed that Allah will grant him the highest place in Jannah.