Senate in emergency executive session as Akpabio, Lawan clash over sitting time

Senate in emergency executive session as Akpabio, Lawan clash over sitting time

Traditionally, the Senate adjourns its sittings for the day
with plans to reconvene at 11 am the next legislative day, despite the official
start time being 10 am.

 

On Thursday, the Senate sought to formally amend its rules
to shift the official sitting time from 10 am to 11 am.

 

This motion was brought forward by Senate Leader, Opeyemi
Bamidele.

 

As the Senate moved to deliberate on the amendment, Lawan
opposed the proposal.

 

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He challenged Akpabio, arguing that the reason for changing
the sitting time—to synchronise with the House of Representatives—was not convincing
or “scientific” enough.

 

He insisted that there were no substantial reasons to shift
the sitting time and highlighted that lawmakers were more energetic in the
early hours, making a 10 am start more productive.

 

“The explanation that the change was to enable the Senate to
synchronise its sitting time with that of the House of Representatives is not
saleable to senators,” Lawan stated.

 

He added that pushing the sitting time to 11 am would extend
the sessions till 3 pm, a time when committees should be actively working.

 

Akpabio responded, reminding Lawan that the 11 am practice
was inherited from Lawan’s 9th Senate.

 

Lawan, however, refuted this, stating, “No, that is not
correct!” Akpabio also clarified that starting at 11 am did not necessarily mean
sessions would last until 3 pm, suggesting they could end by 1 pm instead.

 

Senator Bamidele intervened, explaining that senators often
had multiple engagements, including oversight duties and committee assignments,
which sometimes kept them working late into the night, making a 10 am
resumption challenging.

 

In a bid to calm the rising tension, Akpabio swiftly called
for an executive session to address the issues privately.

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