Senator Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos) says any move to adopt the 2015 Senate Standing Order in the election of senate leadership of 9th assembly will be resisted.
The order was used to elect Dr. Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President in 2015.
Standing orders, also known as standing rules or rules, refer to the body of rules, ethics and customs governing legislative bodies.
In Nigeria, standing orders are rules made in line with Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), for smooth operation of the National Assembly.
Section 60 states: “Subject to the provisions of this constitution, the Senate or the House of Representatives shall have powers to regulate its own procedure, including the procedure for summoning and recess of the House.
The rules were binding on all members and if violated, the offender would be severely punished based its provision.
However, it could be suspended, amended, or changed by majority voting depending on the situation under consideration.
Adeola, who made his position known while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, maintained that proper procedure was not followed in amending the 2015 standing order, which the 8th senate is currently using.
He noted that the 2011 standing order allowed for open ballot system, which is the practice in parliaments in other climes.
The lawmaker said one of the best things that would happen to the 9th senate is to jettison the 2015 standing order and adopt that of 2011.
According to him, adopting the 2011 standing order will give room for open ballot system in the 9th senate election, that will afford Nigerians the opportunity to know choices being made on their behalf by their lawmakers.
Adeola, Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, said: “In all parliaments of the world, lawmakers are allowed to, at least, mention who should be their presiding officers.
“The rule book, as it is currently, has not met the necessary criteria that can be relied upon to elect our new presiding officers.
” It is on that note that we are all calling for open ballot system, where every lawmaker will stand up, mention your senatorial district, who you are nominating to be the next presiding officer in the 9th senate.
“That is the procedure we are all agitating for and that is the position we are going to maintain in electing our new president of the senate by the grace of God.
“The rule book for 2011, which is the rule book that ordinarily would have been used in 2015, was not properly amended.
“It was done by the management of the National Assembly and not by the members of the Senate.
“Meanwhile, the 2011 rule book was amended in line with the rules of the senate and as such we will opt for it in the 9th assembly.”
The lawmaker further said: ”The 2015 rule book will not be relied upon because it did not undergo the necessary process for it to be amended in accordance with the rule of the senate.
“So, it cannot be used to elect our new leaders and we are going for the open ballot system. That is allowed in a democratic system.
“Lawmakers are allowed to stand up and address themselves and make known what position they are taking.”
Recent calls by some groups for the 9th senate to adopt open ballot system in the election of president of the senate and other presiding officers had caused heated debate among stakeholders, particularly lawmakers.
Some lawmakers believed that the 2015 standing order, used in electing members of the 8th senate, did not follow due process and as such, the 2011 standing order should be used in the 9th session.
They believed that the use of secret ballot system in the 2015 senate election was a charade, noting that the 2011 order, which allowed for open ballot system, was not properly amended.