… To face panel Wednesday over alleged complicity in mace theft saga
The Senate and House of Representatives joint committee on the investigation of the April 18, 2018, invasion of Senate chamber Tuesday invited a former Senate leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to explain their alleged roles in the incident.
Ndume and Omo-Agege are to answer questions on allegation of aiding the invaders to force their way into the Senate chamber to snatch the mace.
Chairman of the committee, Senator, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, issued the invitation at the committee’s meeting Tuesday.
The invitation was said to have been sequel to testimonies by heads of different security agencies within the National Assembly alleging that “Omo-Agege led seven unauthorised persons into the Senate to steal the mace.”
The action of the chamber invaders was said to have “disrupted plenary.”
Findings also showed that Ndume was alleged to have prevented Sergeant At Arms who keeps the Mace, from taking it away to safety.
The invitation letter to read in part:
“Based on the testimony of the Sergeant At Arms before the committee, you (Mr. Ndume) are alleged to have prevented the mace keeper from taking away the mace to safety.
“The committee has, therefore, deemed it necessary to invite you in order to respond to that allegation.
The committee’s invitation to Omo-Agege said, “Based on the testimony of the National Assembly Divisional Police Officer (DPO), the DSS and the Sergeant at Arms, you are alleged to have entered the National Assembly accompanied by seven persons who allegedly took the mace of the Senate during plenary session on April 18, at about 11:30 a.m.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege
“All those who testified, stated that the said people were cleared into the chamber based on your confirmation that they were with you.
“The committee, in pursuance of this, has deemed it necessary to formally invite you to respond to these allegations on Wednesday, May 16 at 11:00am,”
The National Assembly Divisional Police Officer, Sulu-Gambari Abdul, had accused the Ndume and Omo-Agege of conspiring with thugs who invaded the Senate chamber and took away the mace on April 18, 2018
Sulu-Gambari noted that the Senate invasion was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some lawmakers, confirming allegation of complicity of security agencies in the invasion.
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who inaugurating the joint ad hoc committee of the National Assembly to investigate the invasion of the Senate chamber and snatching of the mace by suspected thugs last week noted that the attackers had violated the liberty of the people who the National Assembly represent.
Saraki had said, “The events of the 18th of April, 2018, will go down as one of the darkest days of our democracy. The precincts of the National Assembly is not just a place where the National Assembly meets, it is the symbol of our liberty and freedom from autocracy and the base of our democracy.
“This should not happen. It should never have happened. The violation of this solemn place, the symbol of our liberty to have a government by the representatives of our people for our people, by a group of mobsters and criminals cannot simply be ignored.
“It has been inferred in many quarters that this group of thugs and urchins were led by a serving distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (this) is most despicable and unspeakable.”
Meanwhile Senator Omo-Agege failed to resume plenary Tuesday as widely reported.
SOURCE: THE NATION