By Sharon Eboesomi

OrderPaperToday – There are some legislative practices not necessarily written in the Standing Orders or Rules of each Chamber of the National Assembly that have become the norm/convention among lawmakers.

Some of these norms/procedures and were developed through precedence, including rulings made by the Senate President/Speaker and from resolutions of the National Assembly.

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Voting: During voting, lawmakers respond either ‘aye’ or ‘nay.’

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 Opening Prayers

Both Houses begin each sitting with prayers that do not follow any particular faith.

The Presiding officer of each chamber has the task of reading the prayers before they begin sitting.

“Almighty God, Ruler of Heaven and Earth, we beseech Thee to inspire and guide all our counsels and actions, so that we may always walk in the path of justice, love and charity to one another.

Help us with Thy Grace to do only things that will promote the unity, happiness and prosperity of Nigeria.”

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 Calling the House to Order

When the House is in a rowdy session, the Chief Whip or Deputy Chief Whip of the House usually shouts the command ‘order’ to restore decorum and ensure the peaceful conduct of the session.

Announcements: The President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives or any other officer presiding over a plenary can bring a notice or pass information to the House usually at the beginning of sitting by way of announcements.

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Catching the Speaker’s Eye

To participate in a debate or second a motion, Members have to be recognised or called by the President of the Senate or Speaker respectively.

Members usually raise their hands in a bid to get the presiding officer’s attention.

Members standing up when the President of the Senate or Speaker enters the Chamber:

The presiding officers are led into the chambers by the Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing the mace, which is the symbol of authority of the Legislature.

Members and non-members are expected to rise from their seats to herald the entrance of the presiding officer.

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General Public in the Hallowed Chambers

The general public is not allowed into any part of the chambers, except the gallery which is not exclusively reserved for members.

The Sergeant-at-Arms may however take into custody; members of the public who do not conduct themselves or refuse to leave when asked to do so.

Monday Meme is a special public programme by OrderPaper designed to break down esoteric terminologies, processes, and procedures of the legislature.



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