The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, presided over plenary on Thursday. It is his first since the inauguration of the ninth Senate in June 2019.
Mr Omo-Agege took over the dais from Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, shortly after he (Lawan) said the prayers to commence the business of the day.
There have been speculations of friction between Mr Lawan and Omo-Agege as many wondered why the latter has not been allowed to preside over plenary sessions.
Many also believed that the deputy senate president was not fully aligned with the interests of the executive.
With the development, however, it appears that the insinuations will now be put to rest.
There were cheers in the chamber the moment Mr Omo-Agege took over the podium.
“It’s great to see you there,” James Manager (Delta South) told the deputy senate president who is also from Delta state.
“Thank you,” Mr Omo-Agege replied amidst cheers and laughter.
Constitution Review Committee
Prior to his exit, Mr Lawan announced the formation of the Constitution Review Committee.
Mr Omo-Agege will chair the 57-member committee.
Principal officers who constitute the steering committee but are also members of the main Committee as announced by Mr Lawan include Abdullahi Yahaya, Robert Boroffice, Sabi Abdullahi and Eyinnaya Abaribe.
Others are Emmanuel Bwacha, Philip Aduda and Sahabi Ya’u.
The rest are;
Theordore Orji (Abia)
Aisha Ahmed (Adamawa)
Stella Oduah (Anambra)
Albert Bassey (Akwa-Ibom)
Haliru Jika (Bauchi)
Diegi Biobakara (Bayelsa)
Gabriel Suswam (Benue)
Abubakar Kyari (Borno)
Gershom Bassey (Cross-River)
James Manager (Delta)
Samuel Egwu (Ebonyi)
Mathew Urghohide (Ebonyi)
Bamidele Opeyemi (Ekiti)
Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu)
Danjuma Goje (Gombe)
Rochas Okorocha (Imo)
Sabo Mohammed (Jigawa)
Uba Sani (Kaduna)
Kabiru Gaya (Kano)
Babba Kaita (Katsina)
Adamu Aliero (Kebbi)
Smart Adeyemi (Kogi)
Sadiq Umar (Kwara)
Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos)
Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa)
Sani Musa (Niger)
Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun)
Nicholas Tofowomo (Ondo)
Bashiru Ajibola (Osun)
Teslim Folarin (Oyo)
Hezekiah Dimka (Plateau)
George Sekibo (Rivers)
Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto)
Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba)
Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe)
Hassan Gusau (Zamfara)
Also in the committee are zonal representations with each zone represented by two senators.
They are, Ibn Na’allah and Ibrahim Shekarau (North West), Kashim Shettima and Lawal Gumau (North East) and Tanko Al-makura and Yakubu Oseni (North Central).
Others are, Abdulfatai Buhari and Biodun Olujimi (South West), Uche Ekwunife and Chukwuka Utazi (South East) and Akon Eyakenyi and Rose Oko (South-South).
While Mr Lawan advised members to represent the Senate and the national assembly as a whole. He said senators who are not members can still participate “by way of giving any solution and any advice they feel strongly about, for the committee to succeed.”
“As for the activities of the committee, you will engage not only members of the National Assembly and other statutory bodies like INEC and Civil Society groups but Nigerians are interested in the way and manner we do our activities here.
“Nigerians have interest in the Constitution review that the National Assembly will bank upon.
“There are several issues Nigerians feel very strongly about, the constitution review committee is supposed to be a platform where such issues could be brought and where those who are interested should ensure that they make every possible effort, including a presentation for their views to be considered,” he said.
He also welcomed any organisation that has anything as a contribution to the Constitution amendment review committee.
Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra) however complained that his party, Young Progressives Party, was not mentioned in the committee.
“I think it is, maybe, an oversight. Mr President should consider our party because we are here on our own and I am a caucus of my party.”
In his response, Mr Lawan noted that the membership was not based on political parties. He said each state will be represented by a Senator and each geopolitical zone will have zonal representation.
“This is part of what we are trying to do in the Constitution review. I am sure the Constitution review committee, chairman and members will take note of this.
“Don’t despair, you are YPP, you have other opportunities so, this is our Senate, including the YPP,” he said.
The committee is expected to deliberate on all bills that seek to alter the constitution.