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General News of Monday, 4 February 2008

Source: Daily Guide

Computer "Floors" Parliament

A malfunctioning computer on Thursday failed Parliament woefully as proceedings in the House ended at exactly 10:05 am, which is five minutes after sitting had started. The five-minute sitting broke the last record of the House which lasted 12 minutes on Tuesday, December 4, 2007. After prayers were said and correction of vote and proceedings had taken place, both sides of the House asked that they adjourn until Friday so that members could attend committee sittings.

The Clerk of Parliament, Emmanuel Anyimadu, later told Daily Guide that the unusually early adjournment became necessary following a technical fault developed by the computer used to process the order paper, the official daily agenda of Parliament.As a result of the fault, the computer reproduced an order paper whose items had already been dealt with by the House. Since the fault was detected late on Wednesday night, Mr Anyimadu said there was absolutely nothing the House could do on Thursday rather than to adjourn.

In recent times, Parliament has had some problems which compelled it to either adjourn or suspend sittings unexpectedly. During the latter parts of the third session which ended in December 2007, the microphones used by Parliamentarians broke down on a number of occasions, forcing the law-making body to truncate its sittings.

Another memorable occasion was during the year-long energy crisis when the generator powering the House was intermittently disrupted and proceedings sometimes stopped. Water shortage in Parliament was another challenge the House faced which also affected sittings as all wash rooms within the precinct of the House were put under lock and key.

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