A mild drama broke in the upper chamber after microphones of Senate leader Yahaya Abdullahi and majority leader Enyinnaya Abaribe failed to function.
The two senate leaders were forced to move to other seats to carry out their legislative function amidst mumbles by senators in attendance.
Abdullahi realised that his microphone was not functioning when he was about to move a motion for the Senate to observe a minute’s silence and suspend plenary in honour of a House of Representatives member, Jafaru Illiyasu Auna, who died in Abuja on Sunday.
Efforts by the Sergeant-At-Arms and other National Assembly staff on chamber duties to prod the mic to work proved abortive.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had to intervene and approve that the Senate Leader should take any seat and use its microphone.
“Leader, you are the Leader of the Senate, you can speak from anywhere,” Lawan said.
Coincidentally, the microphone on the seat of the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, could not function either, due to the same technical problem.
His move to use the microphone of senator Barau Jibrin to second the motion stirred uproar from senators of the ruling APC, who tried to stopped him.
Abaribe jokingly said while seconding the motion, “I am reluctantly using Jibrin Barau’s microphone to second this motion which is telling us that the renovation for this chamber should be on the top burner.”
This came after the intervention of the senate leader who said, “Today is not our usual day so if the Minority Leader is in an unusual seat, it is because the occasion demands it.”
The upper legislative chamber adjourned its proceedings to Wednesday, December 4 after a minute’s silence was observed in honour of late lawmaker.
It could be recalled that on November 12, 2019, the senate President had complaints about malfunction of the cooling systems in the chamber and promised to fix them soon.
“This chamber appears unduly warm this morning. We can’t be battling with debate and fanning ourselves. I want to appeal to our colleagues to be patient as the fault would be fixed soonest,” Lawan said.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari had transmitted a letter to the senate requesting the confirmation of members of the National Hajj Commission.