Fresh crisis is now looming in the Senate as the Joint Committee of the National Assembly set up to investigate the April 18, 2018, invasion of the Senate Chamber has invited former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) as well as Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta) allegedly fingered in the mace theft saga to explain their roles.
The Committee had via separate letters invited Ndume and Omo-Agege to appear before it today.
The duo are being invited to answer questions on allegations of aiding the invaders who forced their way into the chamber and seized the Senate mace.
The chairman of the committee and Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, Kebbi South), issued the summon at the committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The invitations were sequel to testimonies from heads of different security agencies within the National Assembly, alleging that Omo-Agege led seven unauthorised personnel into the red chamber and disrupted plenary.
Senator Ndume was also accused of compromise. He was alleged to have prevented Sergeant-at- arms who kept the Mace from taking it away to safety.
Specifically, the invitation letter to Ndume reads in part: ” Based on the testimony of the sergeant-at-arms before the committee, you (Mr Ndume) is alleged to have prevented the mace keeper from taking away the mace to safety.
“The committee has, therefore, deemed it necessary to invite you in order to respond to that allegation”
The committee, in inviting Omo-Agege stated that, “based on the testimony of the National Assembly Divisional Police Officer (DPO) , the DSS and the Sergeant at Arms, you are alleged to have entered the National Assembly accompanied by seven persons who allegedly took the mace of the Senate during plenary session on April 18, at about 11:30 a.m.
“All those who testified, stated that the said people were cleared into the chamber based on your confirmation that they were with you
” The committee, in pursuance of this, has deemed it necessary to formally invite you to respond to these allegations on Wednesday, May 16 at 11:00am,”
Last week, the National Assembly Divisional Police Officer, Sulu-Gambari Abdul, accused the lawmakers of conspiring with thugs who invaded the Senate chamber and took away the mace last month.
According to Sulu-Gambari, Senate invasion was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some lawmakers.
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, while inaugurating the joint ad hoc committee of the National Assembly to investigate the invasion of the Senate chamber and snatching of the mace by suspected thugs last week, noted that the attackers had violated the liberty of the people who the National Assembly represent.
Saraki had said: ” 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, (this) is most despicable and unspeakable requiring appropriate sanctions against perpetrators”.
The Daily Times recalls that Ndume and Omo-Agege had at different times been suspended by the Senate for 90 legislative days but got reprieve from the court where such suspensions were nullified.
While Ndume’s suspension effected by the Senate in March last year was nullified by a Federal High Court in Abuja last October, Omo- Agege’s suspension, which started on the April 12 this year, was nullified by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday last week.
But Omo-Agege did not attend the Senate’s plenary on Tuesday as earlier vowed after the judgement last week.