Terms Used in the House of Assembly

Adjournment of the House – The termination of a sitting (either by motion or pursuant to a Standing or Special Order) within a session. An adjournment covers the period between the end of one sitting and the beginning of the next. The House may adjourn for a few minutes or several months.

Amendment – An alteration proposed to a motion, a stage or clause of a bill, or to a committee report. It may attempt to present an improved formulation of the proposition under consideration or to provide an alternative to it.

Bill – Proposed legislation that is introduced by the Majority Leader or a Member. To become a law, a Bill must pass three Readings, and receive Governor Assent.

Caucus – All of the elected members from one political party.

Chamber – The room where the House of Assembly holds its sittings.

Clause (of a Bill) – A numbered division of a bill. Once a bill becomes law, its clauses are referred to as “sections”.

Clerk – The permanent Officer responsible for the administration of the House.

Constituency – An electoral district whose voters elect and send a representative to the Legislature.

Committee Clerk – The procedural clerk acting as administrative officer and advisor on parliamentary procedure to a committee and its chair. The committee clerk takes the minutes of proceedings at all committee meetings and may draft rulings on procedural questions for the committee.

Committee of the Whole (House) – A committee of all Members of the House of Assembly that meets to discuss Bills in detail presided over by a chair rather than by the Speaker.

Committee stage (of a bill) – Detailed study of the clauses of a bill by a committee. This stage is the first at which amendments may be proposed to specific provisions of the bill.

Deputy Speaker (of the House) – Title given to the Member elected as Chair of Committees of the Whole at the beginning of every Assembly. The Deputy Speaker replaces the Speaker when the latter is unavoidably absent.

Dissolution – The bringing to an end of an Assembly by proclamation of the Governor. It is followed by a general election.

Division – A vote; the dividing of the members into two groups (the yeas and nays) in order to reach a decision.

Estimates – The government's proposed expenditure for each government department.

First reading – A pro forma stage in the passage of a bill. The motion for first reading is voted on without debate.

Hansard – The official transcript of the House of Assembly debates and proceedings.

Leave (of the House) – unanimous consent of all Members.

Mace – The ceremonial staff carried into the Assembly each day before the sitting commences. It symbolizes the authority of the House of Assembly.

Member of the House of Assembly (MHA) – One of the elected representatives.

Motion – A proposal moved by a Member for the House to do something, to order something to be done or to express an opinion with regard to some matter. In order to be placed before the House for consideration, a motion must be duly moved and seconded. No seconder is required in committee. Once adopted, a motion becomes an order or a resolution.

Notice of motion – An oral announcement of an intention to bring a substantive proposal before the House. Following this notice, the proposal is added to the next day's order paper.

Order Paper – A document which sets out the daily business of the House of Assembly.

Parliamentary procedure – The rules by which the House conducts its business, based on statutes, the Standing Orders, authoritative procedural works, precedents, and tradition. Decisions by the Speaker on points of order and questions of privilege are based on these rules.

Point of order – A question raised by a Member with respect to any alleged departure from the Standing Orders or customary procedures, either in debate or in the conduct of House or committee business. Points of order are decided by the Speaker whose decision is final, or, in committee, by the chair, whose decision may be appealed to the committee.

Schedule – An appendix to a bill that contains matters of detail not suitable for inclusion in a clause, or the text of an agreement that the bill brings into effect. Schedules form part of a bill and are subject to amendment.

Second reading – The stage in the passage of a bill at which the principle and object of a bill is either accepted or rejected. Detailed consideration is not given to the clauses of the bill at this stage.

Sergeant-at-Arms – The Officer responsible for the security of the Chamber and the MHAs, and for custody of the mace.

Session – A series of meetings of the House of Assembly opened by Governor's Proclamation . The sessions in the Oyo State House of Assembly are divided into four periods (June to May), spread over the four years of the Assembly.

Speaker – The Member elected to preside over the House of Assembly, ensuring that all members abide by the rules and procedures.

House Rules – The collection of the permanent written rules adopted by the House to govern its proceedings.

Stranger – Anyone who is not a Member of the House of Assembly or an official of the House. This includes departmental officials and journalists, as well as members of the public. Strangers are admitted to the galleries but may be expelled if there is a disturbance or if the House so orders.

Table Officers – The clerks who provide procedural advice during sittings of the House, take the votes, and keep the minutes of proceedings.

Unanimous consent – The consent of all Members present in the House that is required when the House wishes to set aside its rules or usual practices without notice. Actions taken by unanimous consent do not constitute precedents.

Whip – A Member charged with keeping other Members of the same party informed concerning House business and ensuring their attendance in the House or in committee, especially when a vote is anticipated.