The Senate was thrown into chaos Wednesday as lawmakers argued over sitting arrangements.
Premium Times reports that the confusion erupted after the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, refused to allow former minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, contribute to a point of order earlier raised by Bassey Akpan.
Mr Akpan raised a point of order accusing the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State of plotting to cause mayhem in the forthcoming general election.
Former Minority Leader and ex-governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who recently defected from PDP to APC, then raised a point of order apparently to respond to Akpan but was quickly hushed by Senate President Bukola Saraki, who asked him to move to the seat he was allocated in the Senate if he wants to speak.
Mr Saraki, thereafter, noted Mr Akpan’s statement and asked the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, to proceed with other items on the Order Paper.
Although he noticed Mr Akpabio raising his hand, Mr Saraki said he would not allow him to speak because he was not in his appropriate seat.
“Senator… eh… former Minority Leader, you know you can’t speak from there. You can’t. Go to your seat, when you get to your seat, I’ll recognise you,” he said.
He, thereafter, asked the leader of the Senate to proceed with other items on the Order Paper. But the senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, stood up to defend Mr Akpabio.
“If he decides to sit there, let him. There is no microphone there. Let us not take the panadol for his headache. Let me advise, that even though we have only six, seven months to go, let’s do what is right,” he said.
This led to a heated argument between the APC and PDP senators. During the exchange, Senator Dino Melaye was reportedly seen going about, engaging APC senators in a war of words. Senator Kabiru Marafa and some APC senators also rose to engage Melaye.
Efforts by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, to intervene in the matter failed as the chamber became noisy.
Akpabio, who eventually relocated to the seat beside Senator Ali Ndume, demanded an apology from Saraki for allegedly being embarrassed by the Senate President, which the presiding officer denied.
Akpabio and Saraki also had a debate on who allocated the seat to the Akwa Ibom senator.
Akpabio eventually said he would withhold his comment until the chamber had been reconfigured.