Uproar in Senate over Armed Forces Commission Bill
A chaotic scene was recorded today on the floor of the senate over the Armed Forces Service Commission bill.
The bill which was sponsored by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South), has a provision for federal character in the appointment of service chiefs and other heads of security agencies, among other things.
At the second reading of the bill, the People’s Democratic Party senators argued that it was needed to give effect to a constitutional provision which empowers the National Assembly to create the Armed Forces Service Commission.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) senators on the other hand alleged that the main aim of the Bill is to whittle down the powers of the President.
However after Senate President Ahmad Lawan put the Bill to a voice vote and ruled that the “nays” had the day (meaning that the Bill cannot be read for a second time), an uproar ensued after Abaribe and those who supported the Bill however disagreed with the ruling of the Senate President and called for a “division”, a process which allows for transparent voting in the senate.
Some senators however saw the call as a challenge to the ruling of the Senate President on the matter and this led to a near commotion in the Senate before the Senate President announced that the chamber will go into an emergency closed door session.