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•Delta senator absent at plenary
Fred Itua, Abuja
The Joint Ad hoc Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives investigating the April 18 invasion of the country’s upper legislative chamber has summoned Senators Ali Ndume and Ovie Omo-Agege.
Ndume represents Borno South while Omo-Agege, represents Delta Central and are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Senate suspended Ndume in March 2017 while Omo-Agege, on the other hand, was suspended in April 2018.
Both suspensions have, however, been upturned by Federal High Courts.
Regardless, the duo have bee summoned for allegedly aiding the invaders who carted away the Senate mace, a month ago, while plenary was ongoing.
Chairman of the joint panel, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, issued the summons at the committee meeting held at the National Assembly complex, yesterday.
The summons was based on testimonies from heads of different security agencies within the National Assembly, who alleged that Omo-Agege led seven thugs into the Red Chamber and disrupted Senate proceedings.
The security agents also alleged that Ndume hindered the Sergeant-At-Arms in charge of the mace from taking it to safety when the hoodlums attacked the chamber.
Na’Allah said: “Based on the testimony of the Sergeant-At-Arms before the committee, you (referring to Ndume) were 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.
“As regards Omo-Agege, based on the testimony of the DPO, the SSS and the Sergeant-At-Arms, you were 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 11:30am.
“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 today, at 11:00am.”
Last week, the Divisional Police Officer of the National Assembly, Sulu-Gambari Abdul, accused some lawmakers of conspiring with thugs to invade the senate chamber.
The police chief said the senate invasion was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some lawmakers.
Ndume could not be reached on telephone, to react to the senate summons. Omo-AAgege, on the other hand, answered calls by Daily Sun but refused to speak. As soon as our correspondent introduced himself, the lawmaker kept mute and ended the call, 10 seconds later.
He did not pick up several calls, thereafter.
In a related development, Omo-Agege, did not show up at yesterday’s plenary, despite having confirmed he would.
At about 10.50am, senate resumed plenary and at this time, Omo-Agege was not anywhere around the chamber. Five minutes after, senate went into a closed-door session which lasted only 11 minutes. When it reconvened, Omo-Agege was still absent.
When senate adjourned at about 1.10pm, Omo-Agege was not in the chamber.
Protesters were also banned from staging any show in front of the complex. The high security checks, led to long vehicular queues at all the entry points into the National Assembly.
Regardless, Daily Sun gathered that the Delta Central senator plans to be in the chamber, today.
After his suspension and lifting of same by a Federal High Court, in Abuja, Omo-Agege boasted that he would resume and that the senate leadership cannot stop him.
Late Monday night, senate cleared the way for Omo-Agege to resume. The leadership said since it is yet to secure a stay of execution order, it could not stop the lawmaker from resuming in his office.
The statement was signed by the spokesman of the senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, who disclosed that the leadership had been briefed by its lawyers to that effect.
He said an appeal has been filed, but that it was yet to secure any order to stop Omo-Agege from resuming.
“Senate has been advised that since the motion for stay of execution of the Thursday (May 10, 2018) judgement shall be heard and possibly determined today, we shall, therefore, respect the subsisting High Court judgement and await the appellate court’s decision on the pending motion,” Abdullahi said.