The Senate and the House of Representatives yesterday suspended sittings in respect to the death of a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ossy Chinedu Prestige.

The Senate, which resumed plenary after a long Christmas break, had to suspend all legislative activities shortly after the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, formally welcomed his colleagues from vacation.

The Senate Leader, Yahaya Abubakar, had at plenary moved a motion for the upper chamber to observe a minute silence as well as adjourn the sitting in honour of late Prestige who died recently after a brief illness.

After observing the minute silence, Lawan expressed shock and sadness over the death of Prestige, who represented Aba North/Aba South federal constituency in the House of Representatives from 2015 to 2021.

According to him, the departed lawmaker will be sorely missed by all his colleagues in the National Assembly.

The Senate president stated that the late House member was a good representative of his constituency in the National Assembly, and that he touched many lives through his business engagements and charity outreach such as the Prestige Ossy Foundation and The Favoured Initiatives.

While commiserating with his family, friends and political associates over the irreparable loss, Lawan also condoled with the government and people of Abia State, and prayed that God Almighty would grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.

The House of Representatives, at the resumption of plenary yesterday, also adjourned to today in honour of their late colleague, Prestige, who died on February 7, 2021.

The House Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who announced the lawmaker’s demise on the floor of the House, expressed sadness.

He said Prestige had been ill since the summer of 2020, and was flown to London for medical treatment.

The Speaker described the late lawmaker as a friend and active member of the previous assemblies as well as the ninth assembly.

Gbajabiamila stated that at the appropriate time, the House would pay formal tributes and accord him the last respect.

Speaking further, he noted that though there were many announcements, including a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari informing the House about the appointment of the new Service Chiefs, the parliament would still not be sitting.

He also disclosed that a new COVID-19 safety measures would be announced today.

According to Gbajabiamila, “We will be announcing tomorrow (today) new COVID-19 protocols just to keep us safe. We need to take necessary action. On a very sad note, however, we will not be doing any business today. I have some announcements, including a letter from the president on the new military Service Chiefs. I am pushing all that for tomorrow (today).

“I want to announce the death of our colleague, Hon. Ossy Prestige. He’s been ill for a while since summer of last year. I saw him last October last year. We chatted and I announced to members to continue to pray for him. I think the minority leader also went to see him. Shortly, we lost communications until the family notified me a couple of days ago of his passage.

“When I went to see him in a United Kingdom hospital, he narrated to me how he traveled. He was a member of a powerful bloc in eigtht assembly. He was a great guy. He shared something with me before he traveled to London. He kept telling me he had a dream and I will share that dream with you in good time. Our prayer is that God will comfort his family and also accept his soul. We will do a formal valedictory at the right time. We will do a minute silence for him now.”

Thereafter, the House observed a minute silence, and the Majority Leader, Hon. Ado Doguwa, moved the motion for adjournment, which was seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.