The Nigerian senate has elected Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) as its new president.

His main challenger, Muhammad Ali Ndume, embraced him in a cheerful and congratulatory mood immediately after the result was announced.

Mr Lawan from Yobe state has been in the National Assembly since 1999, as a member of the lower chamber – the House of Representatives – and later as a senator.

He is believed to have the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, who wants a parliamentary leadership that would ease friction between the executive and the legislature.

But some fear that Mr Lawan’s relationship with the head of state could weaken the ability of lawmakersy to hold the executive to account.

Meanwhile, Senator Ovei Omo-Agege, also of the APC,has been elected deputy senate president defeating the incumbent Ike Ekweremadu of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Members of the lower chamber of the parliament are expected to elect a Speaker shortly.