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Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday called for an emergency closed session of the Senate during plenary.

The closed session followed a walkout of the chambers by the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, after the Senate President Godswill Akpabio ruled him out of order.

Ndume had, citing order 54 of the Senate Standing Orders, raised a point of order.


He drew the attention of the Senate President to his handling of affairs in the chambers which he said were not in consonance with the rules.

Ndume said: “Mr. President, there are some things we do in this chamber that are against the rules. Sir, nobody is too big to learn….”

At this point, Akpabio interjected and called for a copy of the Standing Orders.

He proceeded to read order 54 and said it did not support the point Ndume was making and thereafter ruled him out of order.

Upon the action of the Senate President, Ndume who was visibly angry packed files papers on his desk and stormed out of the Chamber straight to his office.

The Chief Whip was just settling down when he received a call from a colleague to return to the chamber for an executive session.

However, neither the Senate nor Ndume spoke on the issue.

But a source close to the leadership of the Senate said Ndume did not storm out of plenary as he later returned to partake at the executive session.

He said senators are free to leave and return to their seats any time during plenary.

He noted that what transpired on the part of Ndume was a misinterpretation of an order.

He said but for the vigilance and smartness of the Senate President who decided to read the order aloud, Ndume would have made his intended contribution citing the wrong order.

He added that the closed door session, which was already planned to discuss germane issues concerning the running of the Senate, was called shortly after Ndume left his seat.

He stated his leaving was not in anyway a prompt for the executive session.

He added that some of the issues discussed during the session include its upcoming retreat which they could not have discussed at plenary and Executive communications seeking the confirmation of some nominees for appointment.

“The Senator really wanted to contribute but the order he cited did not avail him the chance to keep on talking and then the Presiding Officer, the Senate President had to rule him out of order.

“What happened today was a misinterpretation of an order by a Senator,” the source said.

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