Estimated Reading Time: 1
The Senate has rejected a bill for the establishment of Armed Forces Service Commission.
The Bill sponsored by Senator representing Abia South and Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, “seeks to get the National Assembly to give effect to the clear provisions of section 219 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.”
Presenting his lead debate, Senator Abaribe said the Bill sought to establish the Armed Forces Services Commission to ensure that the composition/appointment of Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Federation reflects the Federal Character of Nigeria in the manner prescribed in section 217 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.
Shortly after his presentation, Senators from the Northern part of the country expressed strong reservation about the timing of the presentation of the Bill which they claimed could politicise the Armed Forces.
The ruling by the Senate President that the Senate rejected the Bill for second reading, however, courted uproar as some lawmakers felt his ruling was not reflective of the position of lawmakers.
Those who supported the proposed law are the Leader of the Senate, Abdullahi Yahaya; the Deputy Minority leader, Emmanuel Bwacha Opeyemi Bamidele; Istifanus Gyang, Chukwuka Utazi; and James Manager.
The senators who wanted the bill killed immediately were Francis Alimikhena, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Adamu Aliero, Adamu Abdullahi, Mohammed Bulkachuwa and Danjuma Goje.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, was evasive in his submissions.
The Senate president called for a voice vote and he ruled in favour of those who opposed the bill.
Abaribe then raised a point of order to challenge Lawan’s ruling and he called for a division whereby each senator would vote individually.
Lawan opposed Abaribe and his action led to an uproar which made him call for an emergency closed session.