The Nigerian Senate has named the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State and senator representing Akwa Ibom North West, Godswill Akpabio as the Minority Leader.
The Red Chamber also announced Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, representing Taraba Central as the Deputy Minority Leader just as it named senators Philip Aduda, representing the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and Biodun Olujimi, representing Ekiti South, as Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip respectively.
The confirmation of the four principal officers from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by the Upper Chamber, followed their nominations last Monday evening and subsequent presentation to the Senate leadership for confirmation at Tuesday plenary.
However, the confirmation of Senator Akpabio by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, did not however, go unchallenged, as the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, speaking through Senator Kabiru Marafa, representing Zamfara South, opposed it, claiming that the approval of the former Akwa Ibom State helmsman violated the Senate Standing Rule, which according to him, recognizes that only the ranking members were qualified to handle principal offices.
As the Senate President called on the Sergeant-At-Arms to usher the newly confirm principal officers from the PDP fold to their respective seats, Senator Kabiru Marafa, raised a point of order, citing the Senate Order 13 (1) and (2), that opposes the appointment or election of any non ranking member to the position of principal offices.
Noting that the PDP Senate Caucus violated the positions of the Senate Standing Order when they nominated Akpabio as a Majority Leader, Senator Marafa asked the Red chamber to do the needful by reversing the confirmation of Akpabio.
But the PDP senators, through the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, representing Enugu West, raised a point of order, upon which he explained that he and his colleagues did nothing wrong in the nomination of Akpabio to the position.
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Source:: New Mail