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Published On: Thu, May 10th, 2018

Senate Invasion: Sergeant-at-Arm indicts Senator Ndume

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The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume

The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume

• As Police allege internal conspiracy

By Christiana Ekpa
The Sergeant-at-Arms to the National Assembly, Brighton Danwalex yesterday revealed that report from investigation after the incident of the invasion of the Senate indicted Senator Ali Ndume of instructing the men assigned to protect the mace not to touch it when the thugs broke into the Chamber.
This was even as the Divisional Police Officer in the National Assembly, CSP Sulu-Gambari Abdul alleged internal conspiracy over the mace stolen from the chambers by thugs in April 18.
Danwalex revealed this during an investigative hearing into the stolen mace by National Assembly joint ad hoc committee investigating the invasion of the Senate.
“One of the Sergeant-at-Arm assigned to protect the mace in Chamber wrote in his statement during our investigation that he gave signal for his second who was standing closed to mace to remove and take it inside, but Ndume said they should not touch it,” he disclosed.

Danealex, who submitted the copy of the report by one of his officer said, it was wrong for his men to take orders from Ndume.
“Security men are having challenges with some legislators because they don’t want to follow checks. Some will come with 5 vehicles and ask the security to allow them to pass” he added.
Danwalex said that security men were overpowered due to lack of nonfunctional security gadgets to enhance operational capacity.
“There is no functional walkie-talkie; we would have alerted all the exit points.
The CCTV is not functional and there is only one operational patrol vehicle and the entrance into the white house requires biometric doors,’’ he said.
CSP Sulu-Gambari in his testimony alleged that “what happened at the National Assembly was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some of the lawmakers.
“There should be a synergy between security agencies and the lawmakers but in this case the attack came from the roof as the senators are not helping security matters.
“On April 16, there was an earlier hint that a group planned to invade the National Assembly and disrupt activities, which called for a build-up of security with two units of mobile police mobilized to the complex.
“However on April 18, at about 10; 11 am, my attention was drawn to a group protesting at the gate, while I moved to address the group I was informed that some people were running away with the mace.
“I signaled all the entry points that nobody drives in or out but three men approached me identifying themselves as security operatives and requested to be allowed to go.
“The strain of blood on their clothes made me become suspicious and I ordered they be arrested.
In all six people were arrested same day and handed over to the force headquarters alongside charms recovered from them.
“In addition an unmarked Prado jeep and a Toyota Hilux were impounded and they are with the police.
“It was later that I observed that the protest was a diversionary attention to move me out and that the protesters were same group with those that attacked,’’ Abdul said.
He said that there was no communication of whatsoever from the Sergeant-at-Arm during the invasion by the thugs.
The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Bala N’allah requested the Police to furnish it with copy of station diary where entry of the crime was made.
Others are copy of crime routine diary, pictures of those arrested and the transfer register explaining where the invaders were transferred to.
On her part, the Co Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Betty Apiafi, blamed the invasion on negligence on the part of the Sergeant-at-Arm.
She accused them of failing to raise alarm having observed something unusual.
“The lack of the incident statement shows lack professionalism and seriousness “ he said.
Similarly, Sen. Shehu Sani accused the security operatives in the complex of regularly collecting money to allow unauthorised persons into the premises.

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