By Henry Umoru – Abuja
Ahead of tomorrow’s resumption of the National Assembly after the Christmas and New year holiday, the Senate said that the issue of invasion of the hallowed chamber and subsequently taking away of the mace by thugs is dead.
According to the Senate, the matter died as soon as the 8th Senate rounded off and the present 9th Senate cannot resurrect it since the immediate past Upper Chamber could not present and consider the report.
Answering questions from Journalists on whether the report of the mace snatching would come up in the Present Senate, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, All Progressives Congress, APC, Nasarawa North said that the Senate will not start a fresh probe of alleged involvement of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege in the matter.
Senator Akwashiki said, “As far as I am concerned, anything that affects the life of the 8th National Assembly, any uncompleted report, has expired with the life of the last Assembly. If it is a bill that was passed but not assented to, or any other uncompleted bill, have expired with the life of the 8th Assembly.
“As far as the 9th National Assembly is concerned, even if we want to enact a bill, we have to start it afresh. Anything unresolved issue in the 8th Assembly has gone forever. So, the implication is that the report of mace snatching has gone with the 8th Senate.
It would be recalled that the Senate Chamber was invaded on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, during the Senator Bukola Saraki led 8th Senate which threw the legislature into shock and panic as to the audacity of the invaders and the manner in which they broke security cordon around the Three Arm Zone and at the end, the Senate Mace which was removed by the assailant, was later recovered around the National Stadium, Abuja, two days after.
Also, recall that the Senate had on April 12, 2018, suspended Senator Omo-Agege for 90 legislative days for dragging the chamber to court over the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 that sought to reshuffle the sequence of polls during a general election.
Senator Omo-Agege, after his suspension, had attended plenary on April 18 and his re-emergence at the chamber had occurred the same time the suspected thugs invaded the Senate chamber while plenary was ongoing and made away with the mace.
ThrowBack: Omo-Agege denies snatching of mace
Also then, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, now deputy Majority Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, APC, Niger North had issued a statement, accusing Senator Omo- Agege of leading the attackers into the chamber and Omo-Agege had denied having a link with them.
Following this, the then Senate President, Bukola Saraki in May, inaugurated 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.
Recall that Saraki, while inaugurating the committee whose members were drawn from the Senate and House of Representatives, noted that those who attacked the Senate on April 18, 2018, were led by a serving senator.
Also in his remarks, the then Chairman of the Committee and now Chairman, Senate Committee on Airforce, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, APC, Kebbi , however, vowed that all those suspected to have links with the attack would be interrogated.
READ ALSO: Why your legislator is a mace snatcher
Saraki during the inauguration had said, “The events of the 18th of April, 2018, will go down as one of the darkest days of our democracy. The precincts of the National Assembly is not just a place where the National Assembly meets, it is the symbol of our liberty and freedom from autocracy and the base of our democracy.
“This should not happen. It should never have happened. The violation of this solemn place, the symbol of our liberty to have a government by the representatives of our people for our people, by a group of mobsters and criminals cannot simply be ignored.
“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.
“It is clear and remains the duty of the legislature acts, when faced with behaviours that undermine its fundamental integrity like this one, to restore the integrity of the institution. We owe it as a duty not only to this present National Assembly but also those to precede it, that the legislative process is purged of this dirt and the legislature restored to its full place of dignity.
“This is a duty that must be achieved. We cannot let a precedence proceed from this. Everyone involved from conception to execution of this heinous crime must be brought to book.”