By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – STRONG indications emerged Tuesday that crisis looms in the National Assembly as former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, APC, Borno South and Senator Ovie Omo- Agege, APC, Delta Central have been summoned to appear before a joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The duo of Ndume and Omo- Agege are to appear Wednesday before the Senate and House Representatives Joint Committee that is Investigating the Incident of the Senate Chamber Invasion on their alleged roles in the attack of the Senate Hallowed Chamber on April 18, 2018 and subsequent carting away of the Mace, the symbol of authority.
Both Ndume and Omo-Agege as stated in separate letters of invitations sent to them for appearance today, are expected to answer questions on allegations of aiding the invaders who forced their way into the chamber and seized the Senate mace.
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 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, just as it was also alleged that Senator Ndume prevented a Sergeant at arms who ought to protect and take possession of the Mace, from taking it away to safety.
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”
For Senator Omo-Agege, the Committee in the invitation letter said, “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,”
It will be recalled that 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.
Mr Sulu-Gambari said the Senate invasion was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some lawmakers, confirming an earlier PREMIUM TIMES report that revealed the complicity of security agencies in the invasion.
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.
It will be recalled that Senate President Bukola had on April 25, announced the setting up of Investigative panel which is chaired by the deputy leader of the senate, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC Kebbi North), to carry out a holistic probe into the invasion.
Other members of the Committee from the Senate are Senators David Umaru (APC Niger East), Gbolahan Dada (APC Ogun West), Shehu Sani (APC Kaduna Central), Sam Anyanwu (PDP Imo East), Rose Oko (PDP Cross River North) and Usman Bayero Nafada (APC Gombe North).
From the House of Representatives, Betty Apiafi is Chairman, while Mark Terse Gbillah; Tobby Okechukwu; Aminu Sani Jaji; Ahmed Yerima; Akinfolarin Mayowa and Oscar Okoro are members.
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”.
It would be recalled that the two affected Senators had at different times been suspended by the Senate for 90 legislative days but got reprieve from the court of law where such suspensions were nullified.
While Ndume’s suspension effected by the Senate in March last year , was nullified by an Abuja High Court last October, Omo- Agege’s suspension which started on the 12th of April this year, was nullified by similar court on Thursday last week.