The Senate on Wednesday announced an increase in its weekly sittings from two to three on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in line with its rules.
Section 63 of the constitution provides that the Senate and House of Representatives shall each sit for not less than 181 days in a year while section 68 thereof states that any legislator who fails to attend the proceedings of the House or Senate for less than one-third of the required number of days shall automatically lose his or her seat.
The two chambers of the National Assembly may not meet the mandatory constitutional requirement of 181 sittings yearly because of a reduction in the number of sitting days to once a week.
The development followed a point of order raised during Wednesday’s plenary by Eyinnaya Abaribe (APGA, Abia South).
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, who presided over the plenary, agreed with the point of order raised by the Abia lawmaker and approved the order.
Recalled that the Senate had during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic rescheduled its plenary sessions to just Tuesdays and Wednesdays while the House of Representatives continued to hold plenary sessions thrice weekly until the current tenth assembly.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the House of Representatives has been sitting once a week as opposed to the usual three times per week. The Senate has been struggling to hold plenary sessions twice, and in some cases once, per week.