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.”

Read more at Premium Times

The post Mace Theft: ‘I Won’t Answer Your Questions’ – Defiant Omo-Agege Tells Panel appeared first on The Trent.

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.

Read more at Premium Times

The post appeared first on The Trent.

‘Nigerian Senate Has No Power To Summon The President’ – Falana

Femi Falana, SAN, a Human rights lawyer, on Thursday, May 10, 2018, faulted the Senate for ordering the President to appear

Femi Falana, SAN, a Human rights lawyer, on Thursday, May 10, 2018, faulted the Senate for ordering the President to appear before it, saying it has no power to summon him as well as state governors.

He made this known when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Thursday, May 10, 2018.

Quoting Sections of the Constitution, he explained that “the President or the governor of a state cannot be summoned by the National Assembly, NASS.

“There is no such power given to NASS by the Constitution to summon everybody,” he stated.

“It has given the president the discretion to address the National Assembly either jointly or separately on any matter of national importance.”

The senior lawyer also said: “the Senate didn’t get it right this time around. By virtue of Section 67 of the Constitution, the National Assembly or either chamber can summon a Minister when the affairs of his or her ministries are under consideration.

“The only other occasion where a public officer can be summoned by the National Assembly is when proceedings are ongoing to expose corruption (Section 88) and when a law is being debated either with a view to amending it or to have a new law entirely.”

Speaking further, Mr. Falana stated that the lawmakers can, however, fix areas of the Constitution perceived as weak, rather than going beyond its limits as such actions can subject the institution to ridicule.

“What can be done, a constitutional review is ongoing, you can deal with the identified gaps but don’t go outside the limit of your powers. When you do that, you ridicule the institution and that is what is going on.”

The Senate had on April 26, 2018, resolved to summon President Buhari over the killings in states across the country, with Benue being the worst hit so far.

Samuel Ortom, the state governor, was also summoned on May 2, 2018, to brief the lawmakers about the security situation in the state.

Only recently, two priests and 17 other worshippers were killed in Gwer East Local Government Area of the state while 16 others were killed in separate attacks on Ali Agundu and Tsav council wards of Guma LGA.

Shortly after, the National Economic Council weighed in on the killings and called for a ban on the movement of herdsmen in the five states affected the most – Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Kaduna, and Zamfara.

The post ‘Nigerian Senate Has No Power To Summon The President’ – Falana appeared first on The Trent.

Just In: Aftermath of Senate invasion, IGP, DSS heads summoned

Fred Itua, Abuja Following the invasion of the Senate by some unknown hoodlums, allegedly acting on the orders of a

Fred Itua, Abuja

Following the invasion of the Senate by some unknown hoodlums, allegedly acting on the orders of a suspended senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, ,the upper legislative chamber, yesterday, summoned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Daura Lawal, to brief it on the state of investigation.

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who read a speech after a closed door session which lasted for more than an hour, made the announcement on behalf of the Senate.

The heads of the two security agencies are expected to appear next week for the briefing.

Details later

The post appeared first on The Sun News.