ABSENTEEISM IS A BIG PROBLEM AT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Many members rarely attended plenary last week or spent quality time at committee proceedings.
On Thursday, the House listed important bills for debate on the floor.
The session was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun.
The long title of one of the bills is: “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Evidence Act, 2011 to Accommodate Modern Development Relating to Admissibility of Confessional Statement; to Render Illegally Obtained Evidence Inadmissible; Give Discretion to the Court with Regard to Certification of Electronically Generated Documents; Provide for Admissibility of Public Documents without Makers of such Documents being called as Witnesses; and to Stipulate a Time Limit on the Presumption of Validity of Judicially Noticed Customs and to Impose a Duty on the Courts to Ensure that Customs that have been Judicially Noticed and not thereafter been Subjected to Proof by Evidence for an Inordinately Long Period of Time are Reviewed by the Courts to Ascertain that they are still Representative of the Customs as they are Currently Practised in the Communities with Respect to which the Customs Relate; and for Related Matters.”
It was jointly sponsored by three members – Mr. Garba-Datti Muhammad; Mr. Edward Pwajok (SAN); and Mrs. Rita Orji.
When Lasun opened the floor for the debate on the bill, he was surprised that none of the sponsors was in the chamber.
The deputy speaker therefore, reluctantly, asked the Acting Chairman, House Committee on Rules/Business, Mr. Bode Ayorinde, to move a motion that the bill should be stepped down.
Observers of the proceedings could not hide their feelings as they wondered why Muhammad, Pwajok and Orji would ‘abscond’ from duty on a critical day that they were needed most to defend their bill.