The Senate has resolved to summon the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Director-General of the State Security Services (SSS), Lawal Daura, to brief the lawmakers on their investigation of the mace theft witnessed at the chamber on Wednesday.
The mace was stolen from the Senate chamber by some hoodlums believed to be working for a senator, Ovie Omo-Agege on Wednesday.
At about 11:50 a.m., a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Habila Joshak, handed over the mace to the clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, after it was said to have been found under a bridge in Abuja.
After over one hour of closed-door session on Thursday, the presiding officer, Ike Ekweremadu, confirmed the retrieval of the mace.
“This hallowed chamber supported by the House of Representatives demanded that the Inspector-General of Police recover and return the stolen mace to the Senate within 24 hours. Concerned colleagues and Nigerians who wanted to find out if the mace has been found have inundated me with calls and messages since last night. Let me therefore formally confirm to you that the mace has been recovered and returned by the police as demanded by this hallowed chamber.”
Mr Ekweremadu announced the intention of the Senate to invite Mr Idris and Mr Daura next week to brief them on whatever they have found out in their investigation of the matter.
He added that the lawmakers have resolved that appropriate sanctions be meted out to all security personnel and individuals fingered in the invasion.
“Nevertheless, we believe there should be consequences for bad behaviour. We swore to uphold the laws of Nigeria and the principles of rule of law. It still beats the imagination of Nigerians and the civilised world that the attackers passed through several security checks and barriers of the National Assembly and gained access into this chamber and also escaped with the mace into the thin air despite the well-known fortified surroundings of this parliament. Therefore, we ruled that it will be a detour to the state of nature when life was lawless and brutish if what happened yesterday was allowed to go unpunished or to be swept under the carpet. It will never happen. We’ll get to the root of this matter.
“We therefore call on the Inspector-General of Police and DG SSS to ensure that all those who plotted, aided, abetted and executed this dastardly affront on our democracy and belittled Nigeria before the international community must be brought to book to serve as deterrence to others. We will be inviting them next week to brief us.”
Mr Ekweremadu used the opportunity to again advocate for a decentralised police system which he said would have prevented the attack.
He said, “This incident has also brought to the fore the case many have always made for the decentralised police system. Ordinarily, a big institution like the National Assembly should have its own police apart from the sergeant-at-arms. However, the security of this parliament is fully outside the control of the National Assembly. Instructively, the same gangsterism that was witnessed here yesterday has been recorded in various state houses of assemblies.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we will never waver in the responsibilities they have elected us to shoulder. We will all stand together to defend this institution of the parliament and our democracy. We will never fear to legislate and we will never legislate out of fear.”