11 July 2018

Nigeria: Mace Theft - House Recommends Suspension of Omo-Agege for 180 Days

Abuja — The House of Representatives on Tuesday considered and adopted the recommendations of the report of its Ad-hoc Committee set up to investigate the recent incident of the Senate Chamber invasion, which led to the theft of its mace and recommended the suspension of Senator Omo-Agege for 180 days.

The House also passed a motion seeking to set up an ad-hoc committee to determine the rising phenomena of insecurity in the country occasioned by killings and kidnapping across the federation, with a view to proffering solutions and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.

The report on the mace theft, which was laid before the House on July 5 by its Chairman, Hon. Betty Apiafi recommended the immediate suspension of Omo-Agege for 180 Legislative Sitting days in line with Section 14(2) of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, 2017.

It further sought the immediate prosecution of Omo-Agege and 16 other suspects for treasonable felony, assault occasioning harm, conspiracy to steal and actual theft of the mace, which is the symbol of authority of the parliament.

In April, unidentified thugs invaded the Senate Chambers and escaped with the mace.

The thugs entered the chambers, while plenary was already ongoing, with the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu presiding.

Omo-Agege was thereafter accused of sponsoring and leading the attack following his suspension from the chambers.

In solidarity, the lower chamber had set up an adhoc committee to work with the Senate counterpart to probe the incident.

However, the committee in its report also demanded that the embattled senator be prosecuted for incitement and breach of peace in the chamber of the senate and contempt ex-facie.

In the far-reaching recommendations, the lower House said the police's preliminary investigation on the issue should be intensified with a view to bringing those found culpable into custody.

Among other things, the lawmakers said the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges Act should be amended to clearly vest the power of maintaining peace and order within the chamber and precincts of legislative houses in the Sergeant-At-Arms of any legislative Houses.

Meanwhile, the House has also passed a motion seeking to set up an ad-hoc committee to determine the rising phenomena of insecurity in the country occasioned by killings and kidnapping across the federation.

It also invited the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command to brief the House on the way forward following the killings of nine policemen by unknown gunmen in Galadimawa area of Abuja.

The lower chamber, further resolved to revisit the constitutional amendment with regards to credible options for effective policing of communities.

The resolutions followed a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by Hon. Chris Azubogu (PDP, Anambra) on the deteriorating security situation occasioned by the killings

He expressed worry that the attack came shortly after the Plateau killings and similar occurrences in the country.

He said the killings called to question the internal security management of securing the lives and property of the citizens by government as provided for in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He said:"There is need to re-invigorate the security apparatus of the country to better secure the lives and property of the people."

Contributing to the debate, Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun (APC, Oyo) said:"The civilians are no longer safe. If Abuja can not be safe at this level, how will other states be?"

He further expressed worries on the neglect of Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) in parts of Abuja.

Nigeria

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