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Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Senate Rejects Bill Seeking Federal Character in Appointment of Service Chiefs

Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill seeking to ensure federal character is considered in the appointment of Service Chiefs. 

In a heated session, the lawmakers were sharply divided in their deliberations on the bill to Establish the Armed Forces Service Commission which was sponsored by Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnanya Abaribe.

Senator Abaribe in his lead debate noted that the bill seeks to help strengthen national unity where every geopolitical zone of the federation is represented. 

The Abia South Senator said the bill seeks to give effect to the clear provisions of section 219 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. 

But the debate took a partisan dimension as senators from the ruling all progressives congress strongly kicked against it saying it seeks to politicize the Nigerian military.

The president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan however put a voice vote, with the nays having it, a decision Abaribe disagreed with.

Abaribe citing order 73 of the Senate standing rule called for a division, asking that lawmakers vote individually on the bill. 

The tensed atmosphere forced Lawan to call for a closed door session after which he appealed to senator Abaribe to withdraw the order.

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