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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Senate establishes committee to investigate mace theft

Nigerian Senate Chamber used to illustrate the story.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday inaugurated a joint Senate and House of Representatives ad-hoc committee to investigate the April 18 invasion of the Senate chamber leading to the theft of its mace.

Some minutes into the Senate plenary on April 18, the chamber was invaded by men who made away with the mace.

The raiders ran out of the chamber with the mace and left the National Assembly in a convoy of four vehicles.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the complicity of security agencies in the invasion and mace theft.

Days later, the police said they had arrested six suspects, while investigation was still ongoing. Almost a month later, no one is being prosecuted despite the pictures of the actual thieves published by PREMIUM TIMES and other media.

In his remark on Tuesday, Mr Saraki described the events of April 18 as one of the darkest days of Nigeria’s democracy.

He vowed that the legislature will work to restore the integrity of the institution adding that the violation of the upper chamber will not be ignored.

“It has been inferred in many quarters that this group of thugs and urchins were led by a serving distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it’s most despicable and unspeakable.

“We owe it as a duty not only to this present National Assembly but also those to precede it, that the legislative process is purged of this dirt and the legislature restored to its full place of dignity. This is a duty that must be achieved. We cannot let a precedence proceed from this. Everyone involved from conception to execution of this heinous crime must be brought to book,” he said.

Mr Saraki had earlier on Tuesday said a similar investigation by the National Assembly management had been concluded and the report submitted. That report is now expected to be reviewed by the new Senate panel.

He, therefore, urged the panel to see its charge as pivotal to the restoration of the sanctity, the preservation of the dignity of the National Assembly and the restoration of the security, integrity and moral authority of the National Assembly.

Members of the committee include Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan, Senators Abu Ibrahim, John Owan Enoh, Shehu sani, Samuel Anyanwu, Suleiman Hunkuyi, Baba Kaka Garbai and Binta Garba. The committee will be chaired by the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

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