Drama in Senate as Akpabio, Ndume clash over Nigeria-Benin border 

By Benjamin Arida://

There was a mild drama in the Senate on Tuesday when the President of the Red Chamber, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume clashed over a motion on the need to reopen the Nigeria-Benin Republic border.

The clash, which almost turned into a rowdy session, forced the Senate President to call for closed doors executive session that lasted for hours.

The motion on the border, moved under a matter of urgent national importance of the Senate Standing Rules by Senator Summaila Kawu (NNPP Kano South), for debate by Senators, allegedly had no specific title and Senator Ndume raised a Point of Order to correct the “error”.

Attempt by the former Senate Leader to request correction for the alleged error, happened barely 10 minutes after commencement of the plenary, but the Senate President refused the correction.

Specifically, Senator Ndume who rose through Order 51 of the Senate Standing Rules, requested the Senate President to allow for correction of any error made or observed in plenary.

He said: “This is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guided by laws, rules and procedures. If in the course of proceedings at any session, errors are observed, they must be corrected before forging ahead with such proceeding.”

But the Senate President quickly intercepted him by saying, having ruled on issues raised, it can not be revisited and consequently ruled Senator Ndume out of order. 

Efforts by Senator Sunday Karimi (APC Kogi West), to sustain Ndume’s line of argument through another Point of Order was also swiftly ruled out of order by the Senate President.

In a trouble shooting effort, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Jibrin Barau quickly rose to read Order 16 which requires a substantive motion to be moved by any Senator for correction or review of earlier decision taken.

Sustenance of Barau’s Point of Order by Akpabio infuriated Ndume, who raised another Order (54) to seek for correction of the perceived error.

The Senate President ruled him out of order again without being allowed to make full presentation of his argument.

Angered by Akpabio’s decision, Ndume packed his documents and furiously stormed out of the chamber. Apparently perplexed by the scenario, Senators hurriedly went into closed door which lasted for hours and affected the items on the Order Paper for the day.  


A journalist by profession and I have been in active practice for so many years. A graduate of Political Science from University of Abuja. Maried with four children.

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