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Published On: Tue, Aug 14th, 2018

NASS shelves emergency session on N242bn 2019 election budget

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu

The expected emergency sessions of both chambers of the National Assembly slated for today to enable the lawmakers consider the financial proposal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 general elections, was called off yesterday.
Pointers to this came to the fore following recurrent denial of some senators who came around yesterday into the National Assembly and those contacted, that there was ever a plan by the federal parliament to reconvene to consider the INEC budget.urther buttressing this indication, there was manifest lack of official statement on the expected reconvention for emergency session by the leadership of both chambers to the Clerk of National Assembly (CNA), Mohammed Ataba Sani Omolori.
Both Senators Godswill Akpabio (APC Akwa Ibom North West) and Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South), in separate interviews with journalists at the National Assembly denied any knowledge of the plan to convene emergency session of both chambers, adding that they were yet to be officially notified.
Abaribe in his response said “the possibility of such emergency session this week is not feasible going by unavailability of many of the lawmakers in town now and even the big sallah celebration coming up next week”.
Similarly, Akpabio, in his own response when asked by journalists to speak on the planned reconvening, said he was just hearing it from the reporters and not from the leadership of the National Assembly.
Recall that after an emergency meeting between the INEC chairman and the leadership of the federal lawmakers last week Wednesday, hopes arose over the possibility of the emergency session this week to consider the INEC budget.
The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had after the meeting, given an indication that the lawmakers might reconvene this week to discuss the N242billion INEC budget for the conduct of 2019 general elections.
INEC Chairman, who was more specific in his briefing of newsmen, said that the lawmakers might reconvene in a week to discuss the issue of pending budget for the commission to conduct the election.

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