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National Assembly may sanction indicted lawmakers over mace theft

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Ikweremadu. Photo/Twitter/NGRSenate

The National Assembly may sanction indicted lawmakers next week over the invasion of the Senate chambers and snatching of its mace last year.

The invasion of the Senate chambers on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, caught every lawmaker unawares and threw them into panic particularly with regards to the fact that the invasion happened in spite of heavy security around the Three Arms Zone.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that Senate Ad-hoc Committee’s report, which investigated the incident, has been slated for debate next week.

A source in the Senate said the committee, headed by Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, had completed its work several months before the general election.

Also, the House of Representatives, which also reviewed the matter, has completed its assignment and that the delay in considering the report was due to election challenges and other national matters.

“Now, the two chambers have resolved to deal with the matter before the expiration of their tenure and by next week, the report will be debated,” the source said.

With clear insights into the report, he said some major actors were indicted in the report and that those indicted were recommended for sanctions, as stipulated in the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act, which recommended a minimum of six months imprisonment for obstruction of lawmakers in the discharge of their legislative duties.

Representative of Delta Central senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege, allegedly played an active role in the removal of the Senate Mace on the said day, but he went to court to prevent penalty.

The Senate leadership had singled him out for suspension, but he secured a court injunction to stop his suspension.

Sources privy to the report said it classified the perpetrators as major and minor culprits and that penalties were recommended accordingly.

It was also learnt that the decision to punish whoever had connection with the mace theft was fueled by indications that some of the actors have been paraded as having been endorsed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for one position or the other in the Ninth National Assembly.

“Some lawmakers are angered that there should be no reward for those who have one way or the other been linked to obstruction and invasion of the Assembly.

“If charges are pressed against them, some of them could serve up to six years in prison, in accordance with the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act, which is in force.

“We have been told by some campaigners that certain persons have been penciled in for the position of Deputy Senate President and other positions in the next Assembly,” the source added.


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