There was mild drama at the senate chamber as senate president Godswill Akapbio, with the senator representing borno south Ali Ndume tackle each other over the motion to re-open the Nigeria-Benin border.
Following the clash, which almost turned into a rowdy session, Senate President Godswill Akpabio has to call for a closed-door executive session that lasted for hours.
The motion on the border, moved by the Senator representing (NNPP Kano South) Summaila Kawu, for debate by Senators, allegedly had no specific title and Senator Ndume raised a Point of Order to correct the “error”.
Attempt by Ndume’s request correct the alleged error, happened barely 10 minutes after commencement of the plenary, but the Senate President refused to heed Ndume’s correction.
Ndume said “This is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guided by laws, rules and procedures. If in the course of proceedings at any session, errors are observed, they must be corrected before forging ahead with such proceedings.”
But the Senate President quickly intercepted him by saying having ruled on issues raised, it cannot be revisited and consequently ruled Ndume out of order.
Efforts by Senator Sunday Karimi (APC Kogi West) to sustain Ndume’s line of argument through another Point of Order was also swiftly ruled out of order by the Akabio.
In an effort to restore peace, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Jibrin Barau quickly rose to read Order 16 which requires a substantive motion to be moved by any Senator for review of earlier decisions taken.
Sustenance of Barau’s Point of Order by Akpabio infuriated Ndume, who raised another Order (54) to seek for correction of the perceived error.
The Senate President again ruled him out of order without being allowed to make full presentation of his argument.
Ndume got angry and packed his documents and furiously stormed out of the chamber.
Following the dramatic development, Senators immediately went into a closed-door session which lasted for hours and affected the items on the Order Paper for the day.