ABUJA— Senator Ali Ndume has denied having a hand in last month’s invasion of the Senate by hoodlums, which led to stealing of the mace by some thugs.
Ndume was alleged to have directed a sergeant-at-arms on duty on the day of the invasion not to touch the mace, thereby allowing the thugs have easy access to it.
Speaking before the National Assembly committee investigating the incident, the lawmaker denied giving such directive.
This is even as Senator Ovie Omo-Agege refused to answer questions from members of the committee, citing the case he filed against the Senate on the issue.
But Ndume had earlier craved the indulgence of the committee to allow his appearance hold behind closed-door.
Consequently, journalists were excused from the gathering but called in again after about 10 minutes, with a view to having his statement on record.
Chairman of the committee, Ibn Na’Allah, who set the tone for the hearing, said: “We had a statement from the deputy mace bearer wherein he alluded allegedly that he made an attempt on April 18 inside the chamber of the Senate to take into safety the mace of the Senate when he saw confusion going on and you advised him to leave it. Is that correct?“ he asked.
Ndume denied, saying he was surprised that such allegation was raised against him.
He said: “I didn’t know in my whole years in this National Assembly that we are that exposed. For some people to just come in and take the mace and run away.
“For me to prevent somebody or to advise somebody not to do his job is just totally out of place because I don’t have the authority to do that. I did not do that, I cannot do that and I’m not supposed to do that.
Omo-Agege refuses to answer questions
In his presentation before the committee chaired by Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC Kebbi South), Senator Omo-Agege said: “Ordinarily, I would have loved to seize this opportunity to respond to the allegations you have raised.
“As a senator, who is consistent to standing orders, I’m here to inform you that I have gone to court, the parties of the respondents to the suit that I have commenced at the Federal High Court are here enumerated:
“The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the Senate, Sen. Bala Na’Allah, and all the members of the committee, the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Inspector General of Police and the State Security Service.
“This action commenced on May 21 and I have with me proof of service to indicate that all the parties have all been served.”