FG orders probe of Senate invasion as Senator Omo-Agege denies involvement
The Federal Government on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the invasion of the National Assembly and theft of the mace from the Senate.
Several individuals suspected to be thugs had entered the Senate chamber during plenary around 11:30 am, snatched and went away with the mace. The show-of-shame which was captured live by different television networks the Senate alleged was staged by representing Delta Central district Ovie Omo-Agege who was recently suspended by the upper legislative chamber for 90 days.
The Senator who was arrested by the police the same yesterday and later released however denies involvement.
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said in a statement that the Federal Government was shocked by the incident and has ordered a probe.
A statement signed by a Special Adviser to the minister, Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Federal Government expressed shock at the invasion of the
National Assembly and the subsequent snatching of the Senate mace by
thugs on Wednesday
The minister said the security agencies have been
directed to immediately unravel the circumstances surrounding the
breach of security that led to the invasion.
He said the security around the National Assembly complex would also
be reinforced to prevent a recurrence.
The Federal Government's directive is not the first to be received by the security agencies about the incident.
Shortly after the mace was stolen, the Senate accused Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of sending thugs to steal the mace .
It described the action as an act of treason and an attempt to overthrow a branch of the Federal Government of Nigeria by force, which must be treated with importance.
The National Assembly also gave the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and Director-General of the Department of State Security, Lawal Daura, 24 hours to recover the Mace .
The theft of the mace has been widely condemned and many Nigerians took to the social media to react to it with many of them mocking the development.
Senate President Bukola Saraki who is in the United States issued a statement praising lawmakers for rising to the defence of the country's democracy , while the House of Representatives called the incident a mockery of democracy.
Senator Omo-Agege in his reaction, however, denied involvement in the theft of the mace.
A statement signed by a legal practitioner, Lucky Ajokperniovo, for the office of the Senator, said that he only went to the Red Chamber on Wednesday, April 18 to resume work and sit for plenary adding that he was only invited by the police to speak about his perspective on the incident.
“We are aware of several media reports suggesting that Senator Omo-Agege personally removed or encouraged anyone to remove the Mace of the Senate. This weighty allegation is not true at all.
“Following the said media reports on the Mace issue, the Police authorities decided to hear from Senator Omo-Agege. He has told the Police his perspective to help them carry out a proper investigation. He has since left the Police. Senator Omo-Agege trusts them to thoroughly investigate this very serious matter,” the statement read in part.
Omo-Agege also reacted to the statement by the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Abdullahi Sabi accusing him of leading the hoodlums to cart away the mace. Omo-Agege described the allegation as 'very serious'.
“We are carefully studying Senator Sabi's allegations to ascertain their full ramifications. Appropriate responses will follow, as may be necessary,” Omo-Agege's statement read.