February 20, 2020

Checks and interviews conducted by Ghanamps.com have revealed that the inauguration of the fifth legislature of the West African sub-region hinges on the Nigerian Senate which is yet to present its list of reconstituted members.

According to the administrative head of the Community Parliament, Mr. John Azumah, out of the fifteen member states, fourteen have presented their reconstituted list with the exception of Nigeria that holds thirty-five (35) seats in the one hundred and fifteen (115) members.

Mr. Azumah further revealed in an interview that currently he has received the list of eighty (80) reconstitute members but the Supplementary Act requires three-quarters of the membership to form a quorum which is eighty-six (86).

“Nigerian’s membership of thirty-five (35) seats constitutes thirty-one (31) percent of the entire one hundred and fifteen (115) membership so you see where the difficulty is”.

As to whether the inauguration of the fifth legislature would be possible this month, the Secretary-General pointed out that, it is not possible due to the earlier reason for a quorum.

“Secondly, as required in the Supplementary Act, we have to inform the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of States before whom the members are going to swear their oath within a month of obtaining the three quarters”.

Meanwhile, in a related development, Mr. John Azumah failed to specify what role the ceremonial Speaker, H. E Mustapha Cisse Lo would be playing in the new parliament as he earlier expressed before the lifespan of the fourth legislature ended in Abuja where he announced is available to assist.

Mr. Azumah however, pointed out that it is within the domain of the next Speaker to decide whether he would require his support, “I would not be able to respond to that”.

He noted that this has never happened before in the last four legislatures where an outgone Speaker has been involved in a new legislature, “but it could happen depending on the disposition of the new Speaker”, he added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com.