According to the Nigerian Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the National Assembly, NASS, are supposed to sit for at least 181 days every year.
The last legislative year ended on June 9th, 2016 with the Senate sitting for 94 days and the house of Representatives sitting for 104 days.
Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has attributed the shortage incessant recesses embarked on by the lawmakers.
According to Falana, “For the first legislative year which ended on 9/6/16 the 7th session of the national assembly did not meet the constitutional requirement.
“Specifically, due to incessant recesses the House of Representatives sat for only 104 days while the Senate sat for 96 days.
“This means that the senate sat for barely 50 percent of the required sitting period.
“Indeed, some of the senators who had to attend criminal courts where they are standing trial for corrupt practices did not seat for up to 70 days throughout the legislative year.
“Whereas section 63 of the Constitution provides that the Senate and the House of Representatives shall each sit for not less than 181 days in a year.
“Section 68 thereof states that any legislator who fails to attend the proceedings of the house or senate for less than one third of the required number of days shall automatically lose his or her seat.
“The Senate was actually shut down on a number of occasions to enable the senate president, Dr. Bukola Sarakito attend the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“He is standing trial for false declaration of assets.
“And in solidarity with him, a number of senators abandoned their duties to accompany him to the Tribunal.
“Since the labor policy of ‘no work no pay’ is applicable to all public officers, the federal legislators ought not to have been paid when they did not perform any legislative duty,” Falana said.