Nigerian police fired tear gas and prevented the Speaker of the lower house of parliament, who has defected to the opposition, from presiding over a session on Thursday.
Senate President David Mark shut down the national assembly, postponing debate on a bill to extend a state of emergency in three states hit by insurgency, after the chaos erupted.
“After a due consultation with my colleagues in both chambers of National Assembly on this ugly development we have therefore agreed that today’s session be suspended forthwith,” Senate President David Mark said, adding that the assembly will reconvene on Tuesday.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, is battling a currency crisis exacerbated by falling global oil prices, as well as the Islamist insurgency in three northeastern states.
Parliament was convening for the first time since Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, whose post is the fourth most powerful in the country, switched political sides before presidential elections in February to join the opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan.