Mace Theft: ‘I Won’t Answer Your Questions’ – Defiant Omo-Agege Tells Panel

Ovie Omo-Agege, a senator representing Delta central, refused to testify before an ad hoc committee of the National Assembly probing

Ovie Omo-Agege, a senator representing Delta central, refused to testify before an ad hoc committee of the National Assembly probing the theft of the senate mace.

Speaking when he appeared before the committee on Tuesday, May 22, 2018,  the lawmaker said he would not speak because the matter is in court.

He listed Senate President Bukola Saraki and Bala Na’Allah, the chairman of the committee, as defandants of the suit.

“Ordinarily, I will love to take these opportunity to respond to the allegations raised but I am here to inform you that I have gone to court and parties have been served,” the senator said.

“The action was taken on May 21, 2018, and all the parties enumerated have been served.”

On his part, Na’Allah said he could not be served by his office.

“I cannot be served by my office. You should know this,” he said.

“I have no problem receiving service. Maybe due to my inadequate knowledge of the law. The service has to be personal.”

Shehu Sani, a senator representing Kaduna central and a member of the committee, asked Omo-Agege to defend his actions.

“I came here to hear a revolutionary speech to defend your actions. If he is not ready to speak, we should not sit here and be gisting on other issues,” he said.

On her part, Betty Apiafi, co-chair of the committee and lawmaker of the house of representatives, said section 62 of constitution does not stop them from investigating the matter.

But Omo-Agege stood his ground, citing order 3(5) of the senate standing order.

The order restricts the senate from probing a case that is in court.

But Na’Allah argued that there is nothing illegal about investigating the allegations levelled against the Delta senator yet Omo-Agege refused to comment on the issue.

On his part, Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, who was accused of being complicit in the mace theft, denied any wrong doing.

He recommended the overhauling of the security architecture of the national assembly.

“I didn’t know we were that exposed. For me to prevent someone from taking the mace [to safety]. I don’t have any authority to do that,” Ndume said.

“That day it was only thugs and everyone ran to the tea room.”

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Mace Theft: Senate May Again Suspend Ndume, Omo-Agege

Following the invasion of the Senate chamber on April 18 by hoodlums who made away with the Mace, the Ad

Following the invasion of the Senate chamber on April 18 by hoodlums who made away with the Mace, the Ad hoc Committee set up to investigate the circumstances is set to submit its report this wee.

The Committee chaired by Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, had earlier forwarded its recommendation to Senate panel on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, headed by senator Samuel Anyanwu.

Similarly, another expanded joint probe panel was set up with the House of Representatives with Senator Na’Allah heading the same committee.

There is however apprehension that the report of the Ethics panel, which may be submitted this week, will recommend the suspension of Ndume and Omo-Agege and some yet-to-be named co-conspirators in the upper legislative chamber.

Recall that the Divisional Police Officer in the National Assembly, Sulu-Gambari Abdul, had blamed the April 18 invasion of the Senate and removal of the mace by hoodlums on internal conspiracy.

Mr Abdul had told the probe panel that the invasion was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some lawmakers.

 

Senators Omo-Agege, Ndume Summoned By National Assembly Panel Over Mace Theft

Ovie Omo-Agege and Ali Ndume were on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, invited by the joint Senate and House of Representatives

Ovie Omo-Agege and Ali Ndume were on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, invited by the joint Senate and House of Representatives panel investigating the invasion of the red chamber and snatching of its mace.

Bala Ibn Na’Allah, the Chairman of the committee,  said the testimonies given by various security personnel at the National Assembly Complex before the panel had implicated Omo-Agege and Ndume.

Senator Ndume, according to the summons, allegedly prevented the mace keeper from taking away the mace to safety, while On Omo-Agege, according to the Divisional Police Officer, the Department of State Services and the sergeant-at-arms, allegedly entered the National Assembly accompanied by seven persons, who allegedly took the mace of the Senate during the plenary session on April 18, 2018, at about 11:30 am.

“All those who testified stated that the said people were cleared into the chamber based on your confirmation that they were with you,” Na’Allah said.“The committee, pursuant to this, has deemed it necessary to formally invite you to respond to these allegations on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at 11:00 am.”

Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate, had on Tuesday last week inaugurated the ad hoc committee, noting that there were reports that those who attacked the Senate were led by a serving senator. Recall that the DPO, National Assembly Division, Abdul Sulu-Gambari, during his appearance before the panel last week, had accused the lawmakers of conspiracy in the attack.

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Suspension Saga: Senator Omo-Agege Absent At Tuesday Plenary

Ovie Omo-Agege, a senator representing Delta central, who vowed to attend Tuesday, May 15, 2018,  plenary of the Senate in

Ovie Omo-Agege, a senator representing Delta central, who vowed to attend Tuesday, May 15, 2018,  plenary of the Senate in compliance with a court decision failed to turn up.

The Senate on April 2, 2018, suspended Omo-Agege over a “dissenting comment’’ on decision of the Upper Chamber on adoption of conference report on INEC Commission Act (2010) Amendment Bill.

Omo-Agege, however went to court to challenge his suspension and the court in its ruling, declared the action unconstitutional, saying that the Senate could not suspend a member beyond 14 days.

The Senate appealed the ruling but said in statement that while it was waiting for a stay of execution, it would not stop the lawmaker from resuming plenary.

Omo-Agege’s suspension, which was expected to last for 90 legislative days, followed a report of the Senate Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions.

Sam Anyanwu, the Chairman of the committee, had said the committee’s probe followed a Point-of-Order raised by Senator Dino Melaye on the matter.

According to Anyanwu, Melaye drew Senate’s attention to a media briefing by Omo Agege, faulting senate’s adoption of the conference’s report on February 14, 2018.

He said that Melaye further intimated the senate that the media briefing by Omo Agege indicated that the resolution of the senate was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

His suspension was based on his comment that amendment to section 25 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), bordering on reordering of elections sequence was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nnamdi Dimgba, a judge of Federal High Court on May 10, 2018, held that while the National Assembly had the power to discipline its erring members, the premise on which Omo-Agege’s suspension was anchored was illegal.

Although the court refused to grant any of the seven prayers sought by the senator, ‎it held that the suspension could not hold on grounds of the “violence” it did to the Constitution.

The judge noted that from the wording of the report of the Senate’s Ethics and Privileges Committee which recommended Omo-Agege’s suspension, he was punished for filing a suit against the Senate after apologising to the legislative house over the allegation leveled against him.

“Access to court is a fundamental right in the Constitution, which cannot be taken away by force or intimidation from any organ,” the judge ruled.

The judge also added that the Senate’s decision to punish Omo-Agege for filing a suit against the Senate and for punishing him while his suit was pending constituted an affront on the judiciary.

He added that even if the Senate had rightly suspended the senator, it could only have suspended him for only a period of 14 days — as prescribed in the Senate rules.

He also ruled that the principle of natural justice was breached by the Senate’s Ethics and Privileges Committee by allowing Senator Dino Melaye, who was the complainant, to participate in the committee’s sitting that considered the issue and also allowed him to sign the committee’s report.

The judge, therefore, nullified Omo-Agege’s suspension “with immediate effect.”

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Senate Appeals Suspension Nullification Of Omo-Agege

The Senate has appealed the nullification of the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege by the Federal High Court in Abuja

The Senate has appealed the nullification of the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, May 11, 2018.

The Senate and Bukola Saraki, the Senate President,  who is the second defendant in the case, also filed for a stay of execution of the nullification of the suspension.

According to the upper legislative chamber, the Senate and the Senate President have promptly filed a Notice of Appeal and a Motion for Stay of Execution of the same Judgement on May 10, 2018.

Earlier on Thursday, the Federal High Court in Abuja nullified the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and declared it illegal. The court however also ruled that the Senate had the power to punish its members.

The senator representing All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta was suspended by the senate because he openly criticized the amendment of election sequence carried out by the senate.

Omo-Agege had accused the Senate of targetting President Muhammadu Buhari with the Electoral Act Amendment, especially that aspect that deals with modification of election sequence.

Omo-Agege who was referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions for investigations of comments attributed to him, sued the senate asking the court to stop the committee from investigating him.

Following the suit, the committee recommended that the senator be suspended and he was therefore suspended for 90 legislative days.

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Federal Court Nullifies Senator Omo-Agege’s Suspension

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, May 11, 2018, nullified the 90 legislative days suspension of Ovie

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, May 11, 2018, nullified the 90 legislative days suspension of Ovie Omo-Agege, a senator representing Delta Central, by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Omo- Agege who was suspended on April 28, 2018, for alleged violation of the Senate rule and for suing the Senate.

He had in the suit prayed the court to nullify the suspension which the Senate had demanded he should withdraw. Delivering the judgment, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba said the nullification is with immediate effect.

He also ordered the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pay Omo-Agege all his outstanding allowances. However, the judge said the Senate has power to suspend erring members according to its rules for 14 legislative days, if due processes are followed.

The court disagreed with plaintiff that to have referred him to ethics and privileges committee was erroneous. He said the law does not exclude the senate from protecting its dignity and decorum. Nor did the law remove the senate powers to discipline erring member.

Dimgba said that documents in court show that while Omo- Agege suit was pending the 1st and 2nd respondents went ahead to impose punishment. Besides, “I am not convinced that the due process was followed.” In any case, “any suspension exceeding 14 days is null and void.”

The suspension for 90 legislative days denied the plaintiff’s constituency representation. The court held that the reason adduced by the Senate for suspending Omo-Agege was an affront on the court.

It also violates the plaintiff constitution right of access to court The decision by the Senate to punish the plaintiff violates section 4 (a) and 6(b) of the Constitution. The exercise of plaintiff right to court cannot be the basis for punishing him, the judge further held.

Dimgba also held that section 67(4) of the Senate standing rule and section 21 of the legislatives Act as amended provide for suspension of erring members of the House to enforce discipline. And the senate is empowering to set up the ethic and privileges committee.

However, in the instant case, the ethic and privilege committee that recommended Omo-Agege suspension did not do it work with fairness.

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Senate To Appeal Court Ruling On Omo-Agege’s Suspension

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege   The Senate on Thursday said it will appeal the ruling of the Federal High Court which

Senate To Appeal Court Ruling On Omo-Agege's Suspension
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege

 

The Senate on Thursday said it will appeal the ruling of the Federal High Court which nullified the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the lawmaker representing the Delta Central senatorial district.

The Upper Chamber revealed this in a statement on its Facebook, hours after the court ordered the reinstatement of the lawmaker and payment of his remunerations.

While the Senate and the Senate President were listed as the first and second defendants in the suit filed by Senator Omo-Agege, the Red Chamber promptly filed a notice of appeal and a motion for stay of execution of the same judgement.

Earlier, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba had nullified the suspension of the senator by the Senate for 90 legislative days.

He noted that although the Senate can punish its members, it is only empowered to suspend an earring member for 14 days and one legislative day.

Justice Dimgba, therefore, ordered the immediate reinstatement of Omo-Agege, as well as the payment of his salaries and other entitlements.

The lawmaker was suspended by the Senate on April 12 allegedly for his remarks at a press conference that the amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

Senator Omo-Agege and some of his colleagues accused the National Assembly of deliberately adopting the conference report on the electoral amendment, which recommended that the presidential elections should be conducted first.

While he consequently apologised to the lawmakers for the purported allegation, the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges recommended in its report that Omo-Agege should be suspended for 181 legislative days.

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Mace Theft: National Assembly tightens security

The Nigerian National Assembly has tightened security in its premises following last Wednesday’s invasion of the Senate by unknown persons

The Nigerian National Assembly has tightened security in its premises following last Wednesday’s invasion of the Senate by unknown persons who took away its mace.

This was evident from the numerous security checks and questioning from different security officers from the main entrance of the National Assembly to the main building.

The Senate’s plenary was on Wednesday invaded by thugs believed to be led by suspended lawmaker, Ovie Omo-Agege.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the complicity of security agencies in the incident.

The mace was recovered the following day by the police hours later, following a 24-hour ultimatum from the Senate.

This step to tighten security was also the resolution of the Senate at an executive session on Tuesday.

The closed door meeting lasted for over two and a half hours and had most of the lawmakers in attendance, presided over by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Mr Saraki, after the session, explained the reasons for the decision as he called for the full cooperation of the public.

“Clearly, there are some loopholes here and we need to tighten it,” he said.

He further stated that a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives had been set up “to investigate the incident of the 18th of April, to look at the factors leading to it and to ensure that such never happens again at the National Assembly.

“We also directed our committee on security, intelligence and police to engage with the Director of the SSS and the Inspector-General of Police to look at how to strengthen the security of the National Assembly to ensure that these security lapses will not occur.”

The Chamber of the Nigerian Senate

The senate president, on behalf of the Senate appreciated two staff of the chamber, “Chuks and Sandra” (who were injured during the invasion), for their gallantry and the courageous actions that they took during the invasion of the Senate chamber on Wednesday, April, 18, 2018 as he wished them speedy recovery.”

He further thanked the team of the Sergeant-at-Arms for the work they did not only as individuals but as an institution also for the country, adding that “this legislature is a true representation of democracy and as long as we defend this legislature, we defend the democracy in this country.”

SATIRE SATURDAY: Of Omo-Agege, ‘Omo-Mushin’ and legislative higi-haga

Patrick Obahiagbon, the inimitable Igodomigodo, would have described the invasion of the senate and consequent ‘kidnap’ of the mace earlier

Patrick Obahiagbon, the inimitable Igodomigodo, would have described the invasion of the senate and consequent ‘kidnap’ of the mace earlier this week in head-bursting vocabularies if he were still in the House. Perhaps, he would have decided not to flaunt too much grammar and simply revisit one of his viral expressions. And if indeed there were dramatic happenings in the polity that fit into Obahiagbon’s “…crincum-crancum (and) political higi-haga…”, the senate was where the materials were earlier this week. In fact, to be sure, the issues have “…all the trappings of an odoriferous saga cum gargantuan gaga…”!

Last week, SATIRE SATURDAY dwelled on the first part of a manual on how to fleece jobless Nigerian youths, especially in Lagos. The intent was to bring the second part this week but because Nigeria has a way of throwing up unexpected “higi-hagas”, the senate forced this column to suspend the second part and dwell on the Wednesday drama, hence the writer could be erroneously considered a part of the ‘lazy’ lots.

Frankly, the coordinated invasion of the Senate by “unknown thugs” (remember ‘unknown soldiers’?) on Wednesday is condemnable in the strongest of terms. The consequent ‘kidnap’ of the mace was quite embarrassing, if not totally disgraceful. Yet it is instructive to note that the suspended senator at the centre of the crisis, Ovie Omo-Agege, has denied knowledge of the invasion and stealing of the mace.

As conspiracy theories work, every detail surrounding the invasion and stealing of the mace points in the direction of the suspended senator––some media outfits even went as far as reporting that he did lead the thugs, something I consider preposterous–– although there are no concrete evidences to proof that YET in law. In any case, following the senator’s denial, it is left for the authorities to look into the case and come out with findings, especially as a PREMIUM TIMES report even showed that the security operatives were part of the entire shenanigan. To avoid jumping the gun, one could as well await the details of the report.

The bigger issue is in the debate on the constitutionality or otherwise of the senate’s penchant for suspending elected lawmakers, as we continue to witness especially in this 8th assembly. While Nigerians remain divided on the suspension of Senator Omo-Agege, particularly because of the partisan concerns surrounding his suspension, it is important that we dispassionately debate this practice for sanity to prevail in the polity.

As a layman, I find the practice of suspending lawmakers based on the whims and caprices of power brokers in the house rather improper, largely because it denies a vast number of Nigerians quality representation as the constitution demands. It is more worrisome when these suspension orders are directed at lawmakers considered antagonistic to the interest of certain individuals in the hallowed chamber and not necessarily in the overall interest of the nation. But a layman’s conjecture is no rule.

However, Femi Falana, has continued to argue, quite rightly, that it is unconstitutional for any legislative chamber to suspend or sack a member. The Lagos-based lawyer argued that ONLY a competent court of law can remove or suspend a member of the legislature whether at the local, state or federal government level. Mr Falana even cited the case of Dino Melaye, now a sidekick of the senate president, when he and others were suspended in 2011 as members of the House of Reps. Senator Omo-Agege, perhaps drawing inspiration from Falana’s legal analysis, also made similar point.

The entire melodrama is worrisome because if the Senate, the highest lawmaking body in the country, is acting in contravention of the court, as the arguments launched against its serial suspension of members have shown, then there is fire on the mountain. Not even when, already, the executive has been serially accused, sometimes wrongly, of not obeying court orders; while the judiciary itself is going through reforms after years of rot.

Sad realities.

Yet it is not all gloom and doom, anyway; thanks to Nigeria’s “Collective children of anger.” In the wake of the recent invasion and stealing of the mace, with all available details pointing in the direction of Omo-Agege, Nigerian creative netizens brought Lagos geography into the discourse.

Agege and Mushin are two popular Lagos areas, relatively known for their enterprising people and, well, the violence of some other residents, especially in Mushin. Even though the Senator’s Delta name isn’t pronounced the same way the Lagos area is pronounced, Nigerians, mostly Lagosians, still had a way of drawing parallel.

And the big question: if an “Omo-Agege” (meaning Agege resident in colloquial Yoruba) could be connected with the Wednesday incident, what would have happened if an Omo-Mushin was involved? I had a quick answer: perhaps we would be searching for the entire Senate Chamber as I type this!

In all, it is important that these issues are addressed hence our nation may descend into a system of government the Igodomigodo would have described as “Kakitomoboplutocrcy”!

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING: Congrats, Uncle Dapsy!

Last Friday, the Nigerian Institute of Journalism honoured the publisher of PREMIUM TIMES, Dapo Olorunyomi, with a Fellowship of the institution at its convocation ceremony in Ogba, Lagos. Uncle Dapsy––as many of his friends, colleagues and numerous mentees of his own direct mentees like this writer fondly refer to him––is a phenomenon in Nigerian journalism.

PREMIUM TIMES’ Publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi being honoured by the Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ)

With over three decades experience in public advocacy, campaign for good governance, anti-corruption campaign and push for ethical journalism practice, the recognition is well deserved. Congrats, Sir, Uncle Dapsy!

EXCLUSIVE: Security agencies complicit in theft of Senate mace

The theft of the Senate mace by suspected thugs was, at best, carried out with the connivance of security agencies,

The theft of the Senate mace by suspected thugs was, at best, carried out with the connivance of security agencies, and likely sponsored and carried out by security agents, PREMIUM TIMES can reveal.

The robbery, executed in the full glare of lawmakers, journalists and other observers in the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly bore the imprints of a security operation with at least two of the 10 attackers identifying themselves as police officers.

The attackers, suspected to be thugs working for a suspended senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, invaded the chamber few minutes after 11 a.m. on Wednesday

They walked behind the senator, as his guests, to gain entrance into the Senate chamber, and stole the mace, the symbol of authority of the parliament without which decisions made by the lawmakers are invalid.

The daring act has kept Nigerians shocked with a former senate president, Ken Nnamani, not only condemning the act but easily identifying the complicity of security operatives.

“There should be a high-level investigation. Is there any complicity? What happened to the police guarding the place? What about the SSS?” he said.

“One person could have planned this thing. They came in, took the mace and left. Did they disappear with helicopter? What were the police doing? What were the security agencies doing? We should set up a high-level investigation before apportioning any blame.”

THE RED FLAGS

The man through whom the attackers gained access to the Senate was suspended by his colleagues last week.

Mr Omo-Agege (Delta, APC) was suspended for 90 days after he accused his colleagues of working against the interest of President Muhammadu Buhari on the plan to reorder the sequence of the 2019 election.

By National Assembly rules, a suspended senator should not have access to the Senate chamber or attend committee meetings.

“He (suspended senator) can only stay in the office. He can go to his office but not the chamber,” said Joseph Waku, a former senator who was also suspended for one week when he was in the Senate.

Joseph Waku was the senator representing Benue North West District between 1999 and 2003. [Photo credit: Hope for Nigeria]

However, not only was Mr. Omo-Agege allowed entry into the Senate chamber by the security personnel at the gate, he was also allowed to bring his guests, who would later carry out the attack.

When Mr Omo-Agege arrived the entrance of the National Assembly chamber, the police officers and sergeants-at-arms on duty saluted him with the usual ‘welcome sir,’ ‘distinguished sir’, a PREMIUM TIMES reporter walking behind the senator observed.

He attempted to enter with the others; but his entourage was stopped by the security operatives. However, they were later allowed to enter after the intervention of the senator.

Perhaps, a more telling revelation into the security complicity in the incident was revealed by a female security operative at the Senate chamber.

While explaining why the entourage, including the suspected thugs, were allowed entry into the chamber, the official, who asked not to be named as she was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the senator told them the others (hoodlums) were with him.

“How do you expect me to stop a senator?” She questioned. “The first two (members of the entourage) that we stopped showed us their police ID cards, so we allowed them. When we tried to stop others, the senator came back and said they were with him.”

Another officer, a male, while recounting the incident to a senator, Forster Ogala, said the thugs were allowed entrance after they told him and others that they were with the senator.

THE THEFT, ESCAPE

After one of the invaders took the mace from its position in front of the presiding officer, he was not challenged, even mildly, by any of the security officials on duty.

Instead, the ‘thugs’ went away with the mace in four vehicles they arrived in. One of the four vehicles was a security escort vehicle and another a black SUV, common with security operatives.

There are two main exits from the National Assembly: the main gate and the SGF gate. However, leaving through any of them, a vehicle would encounter at least two security blocks. Wednesday’s thieves were not challenged by anyone.

Minutes after their escape, the security operatives blocked entrances to the National Assembly and mobilised more police officers to provide security.

National Assembly

Meanwhile, Mr Omo-Agege stood back at the chamber, observed proceedings just like every other senator till the end of the plenary without confrontation from security operatives who had mobilised in large numbers to the National Assembly.

SENATE BLAME

The Senate has since blamed Mr Omo-Agege for the theft and given the police and the State Security Service 24 hours to produce the stolen mace. Many senators believe Mr Omo-Agege clearly had the backing of security agencies.

“We heard the pro-government senators held a meeting with senior security chiefs yesterday night at Sheraton (hotel), so some of us expected something to happen today, but we never knew they could be this daring,” a senator who asked not to be named told PREMIUM TIMES.

When contacted, the FCT Police Commissioner, Sadiq Bello, simply said Mr Omo-Agege had been arrested and investigation was already underway on the matter. The SSS, on its part, could not be contacted on their role in the scandal, as it has refused to appoint a spokesperson.

EXECUTIVE/ LEGISLATURE FACE-OFF

The National Assembly, particularly the Senate, has had a cat and mouse relationship with the Executive. The controversy dates back to the 2015 election of Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as senate president and deputy respectively.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu

It was made worse with the Executive’s insistence to retain Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, despite Senate twice rejecting his nomination.

The amendment of the electoral act to change the sequence of the 2019 elections further brought the division to the fore with Mr Omo-Agege and few other APC senators accusing Mr Saraki and majority of their colleagues of working against the president.

Senator Omo-Agege arrested by the Police (Photo taken by Kemi Busari, 18/04/2018)

It is not clear how that division between the two arms of government helped fuel the security complicity in Wednesday’s attack, but for Mr Ekweremadu, the Senate must get to the root of the mace theft.

“We are going to get to the root of this matter,” he told his colleagues on Wednesday after the incident. “And I believe that I speak the mind of all of you here if I say that security agencies must recover our mace within 24 hours.”

Mr Ekweremadu after the Senate sitting met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to brief him on the incident.

The Information minister, Lai Mohammed, also released a statement on Wednesday condemning the theft.