- As police recover, handover stolen Mace to NASS
- Court stops arrest of Omo-Agege
By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu and Vivian Okejeme
The Senate has said that it will invite the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris and the Director General of Department for State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, for questioning at the Senate plenary over why the thugs beat the fierce security cordons around the parliament to invade the Senate chamber and cart away the mace.
In a related development, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Habila Joshak, yesterday brought the recovered mace to the Senate, where he handed it over to the Clark of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, who handed it over to the Senate leadership.
The Senate position on inviting IGP and DSS DG was disclosed yesterday by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, in a speech he delivered at the plenary after an executive session held by the lawmakers.
He said the Senate is calling on the IGP and the DSS DG to ensure that all those who plotted, aided, abated and executed the affront on Nigerians and democracy, as well as belittled Nigeria before the international community, are brought to justice to serve as deterrent to future occurrence.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police and Director-General of the State Security Service to ensure that all those, who plotted, aided, abated, and executed this dastardly affront on our democracy and belittled Nigeria before the international community must be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
“We will be inviting them next week to brief us on the state of the investigations. Yesterday, this legislative chamber, the nation, and the international community were treated to the theatre of the absurd when armed men invaded the chamber to assault our staff and cart away the mace, the symbol of authority of the Senate.
“It was a very sad testimony, a derogation, and total smear on our democracy and nation,” he said, even as he commended his colleagues for remaining calm and mature despite provocation and intimidation.
“Ugly and provocative as the event of yesterday was, it soothes that the entire nation and the world stood together in total condemnation of the ugly drama, brigandage, and desecration of the National Assembly by those who hold themselves above the laws and institutions of our land”, he said.
While emphasizing that it remains strange how the armed thugs beat the security to cart way the mace, the Deputy Senate President said, “We believe that there should be consequence for bad behaviour. We swore to uphold the laws of the Federal Republic and the principles of democracy.
“It still beats the imagination of Nigerians and the civilized world that the attackers passed through the several security checks and barriers into the National Assembly and the inner recesses of this chamber, and also escaped with the mace into the thing air despite the well-known fortified surroundings of this parliament.
“Therefore, we hold that it will be a detour to the state of nature where life was lawless and brutish, if what happened yesterday is allowed to go unpunished or to be swept under the carpet. It will never happen. We will get to the roots of the matter.”
He said the incident has brought to the fore the reason why Nigeria needs a decentralized police system, arguing that a big institution like the National Assembly should have its own police, apart from the Sergeants-at-Arm.
He lamented that the security of the parliament is fully outside the control of the National Assembly, saying the same gangsters that was witnessed Wednesday has been recorded in various State Houses of Assembly.
He, however, assured Nigerians that the National Assembly will not and will never waver in the responsibility they were elected to shoulder.
“We will all stand together to defend this institution of the parliament and our democracy. We will never fear to legislate; and we will never legislate out of fear,” he said.
Meanwhile, Justice Issaq Bello of a Federal Capital Territory high court sitting at Maitama, yesterday in an ex-parte order, restrained the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service (SSS) from arresting or threatening Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege.
At the center of Senate invasion and mace snatching was Senator Omo-Agege. The thugs who invaded the Senate Chamber were caught on camera getting access to the chamber following the Senator.
The senator was briefly detained by the police on Wednesday after he was arrested at the premises of the National Assembly.
Sequel to his brief arrest, the embattled Senator, through his team of lawyers, approached the FCT court, seeking an interim injunction against further arrest or detention of their client.
In the ex-parte suit marked FCT/HC/CV/1522/2018, the led Counsel, Aliyu Umah SAN, asked for court’s protection for Omo Agege pending determination of a fundamental human rights case brought against the respondents.
Aside Police and DSS, Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) was also mentioned as a defendant in the matter.
The embattled Senator has asked the court for an order of interim injunction restraining the Respondents from arresting and detaining the applicant either in their custody or the custody of any other law enforcement agency, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed in the suit.
Also, an order of the court to restrain the Respondents from violating or attempt on the applicants fundamental rights to personal liberty and right to freedom of movement pending the hearing and determination of the suit before it.
The judge, Ishaq Bello, granted the orders as prayed by the applicant pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
He, however, adjourned the matter to May 6. It will be recalled that Senator Omo-Agege was suspended from the Senate on April 12 over his allegations that a bill for reordering of election sequence was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.