Delegates Move To Streamline Rules As Confab Resumes

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Provisions of the procedure rules that will guide deliberations at the conference was subject of debate as plenary at the on-going National Conference resumed on Monday.

Of most concern to the with delegates was the number of delegates to form the quorum during sittings, even as the Chairman of the Conference, Justice Idris Kutigi (rtd), ruled that the provision in the rules that one-third of all the delegates should form the quorum remained.

One other contested issue was the proposal by Chief Segun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun, that the provision of the rules of proceedings be amended to make them less rigid.

The current rule being debated stipulates that plenary begins at 10 am and lasts till to 2 pm to give way for a lunch break that lasts till 4 pm when plenary resumes to closes at 6 pm.

Some of the delegates canvassed for the plenary to hold between 9 am and 4 pm without break, while others suggested the reduction of the break time to one hour, to enable them to close at 5 pm.

However, the chairman ruled for the retention of the current provision.

Members also debated on basing the final decision on any issue in the conference on three-quarter (75 per cent) majority.

Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and some delegates opposed the provision, arguing that no parliament world over decided any matter based on three-quarter majority votes.

They argued that the practice rather, was to base decisions on two-third majority.

Kutigi, however, drew the attention of the members to President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech, stating that decisions on matters should receive 75 per cent majority votes.

There was no final decision on the provision when the conference adjourned at 2 pm for break.

Some delegates had earlier expressed displeasure over the difficulties they went through before gaining entrance into the venue.

They called on the secretariat to ensure that they were not made have such experience again throughout the conference’s lifetime.