Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has denied any involvement in the dramatic actions which led to the invasion of the Senate Chambers during a plenary session and subsequent removal of the Mace, which is the symbol of authority of the Nigerian Senate, by unknown persons, who were neither Senators nor staff of the National Assembly, on Wednesday April 18, 2018.
The denial of involvement by the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial zone in the Senate, was contained in a statement issued and signed by Barr. Lucky Ajos, For: The Office of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
The statement titled: SENATOR OMO-AGEGE WENT TO WORK TODAY LIKE OTHER SENATORS; HE DID NOT REMOVE THE MACE OF THE SENATE, reads thus:
“On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Senate purportedly suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. However, based on legal advice and his understanding of the current position of the law, Senator Omo-Agege today resumed work and sitting with his colleagues. A few champions of the unconstitutional, invalid and tyrannical suspension tried to stop him but those who opposed it welcomed and protected him throughout the sitting. We are grateful to the many Distinguished Senators who stood by Senator Omo-Agege.
“We are aware of several media reports suggesting that Senator Omo-Agege personally removed or encouraged anyone to remove the Mace of the Senate. This weighty allegation is not true at all.
“Following the said media reports on the Mace issue, the Police authorities decided to hear from Senator Omo-Agege. He has told the Police his perspective to help them carry out a proper investigation. He has since left the Police. Senator Omo-Agege trusts them to thoroughly investigate this very serious matter.
“We are also aware of a statement allegedly issued by the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Abdullahi Sabi. Without any investigation, Senator Sabi willfully, deliberately and unfairly made very serious allegations against Senator Omo-Agege on the Mace incident. We are carefully studying Senator Sabi’s allegations to ascertain their full ramifications. Appropriate responses will follow, as may be necessary.”
Barr. Lucky Ajos
For: The Office of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege
Meanwhile and in a related development, the Nigerian Police appear to have corroborated the claim by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege that he was not actually arrested contrary to reports that the Senator was arrested after allegedly leading thugs into the Senate chambers to snatch the mace.
A senior police officer reportedly confirmed that Omo-Agege was not arrested, but that he was simply taken away from the NASS premises for security reasons.
“Was he (Omo-Agege) arrested? He was only taken out of the premises for security reasons, he wasn’t arrested or detained,” the senior officer stated.
When asked if the Police would investigate the lawmaker as directed by the Senate leadership, the source declined comment and referred all inquiries to the FCT Police spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah.
The Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Bello; and some other police officers had taken Omo-Agege out of the NASS complex inside a black Toyota Hilux pick-up following the melee that ensued after the theft of the mace on Wednesday.
However it was also reported that the CP also refused to comment when asked if the Police Command would investigate the senator for allegedly leading thugs to forcefully take the symbol of authority of the Senate.
“I dont know anything; please ask the PPRO,” Bello, who led the squad to whisk Omo-Agege awsy from the Senate premises had said to foreclose enquiries.
However, in a swift reaction to the invasion of the Senate and the mace-theft episode, the Delta State PEP has strongly condemned the incidence describing it as shameful and an assault and affront on Nigeria’s democracy.
The condemnation of the Senate invasion and mace-theft was contained in a Press statement titled: DELTA PDP CONDEMNS INVASION OF SENATE AND SNATCHING OF MACE BY ALLEGED THUGS LOYAL TO SENATOR OVIE OMO-AGEGE, issued on 18th March, 2018 and signed by Mr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, State Publicity Secretary, PDP, Delta State.
The statement reads thus: “DELTA PDP CONDEMNS INVASION OF SENATE AND SNATCHING OF MACE BY ALLEGED THUGS LOYAL TO SENATOR OVIE OMO-AGEGE
“The Delta State PDP is shocked and greatly disturbed by the unsavoury incident which occurred in the hallowed chamber of the Nigerian Senate, at about 11am, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, when certain non-members of the Senate, described as thugs, invaded the chamber, disrupted the plenary session in progress and one of the invaders, in a brazen act of lawless audacity, plucked the Mace from its stand and walked away with it, escorted by his cohorts.
“The suggestions that these ‘foreigners’ to the Senate chamber, who committed this unscrupulous and sacrilegious attack on the Senate, were acting at the behest of Senator Omo-Agege, has been fully supported by unedited and unfiltered film footages streamed by credible Nigeria News media organizations, showing Senator Ovie Omo-Agege leading a group of unruly individuals, who are neither Senators nor staff of the Nigerian Senate, into the Senate while in plenary, first to brutalize and severely attack some members of staff of the National Assembly, particularly the Sergeant-at-Arms on Chamber duties and then proceed down the chamber steps to the Senate President’s area, where one of the fist-waving individuals acting in a thug-like manner, plucked away the Mace, which is the sacred symbol of Authority in the Senate and walked away with it audaciously, escorted gleefully in his nefarious act by his other violent colleagues.
“Senator Omo-Agege from the footage, did not make the slightest effort to dissuade them, but rather watched in satisfaction, shook hands with some Senators and proceeded to sit down calmly and with smug countenance, despite the fact and in total disregard of his suspension from the Senate for 90 legislative days, through the plenary session which had resumed with a substitute mace, even collecting a copy of the Senate hand book which was handed over to him by one of the Senate staff.
“Delta state PDP is aghast and flabbergasted by this shameful show of brazen impunity and unbridled affront on our democracy by a member of the Senate, who is not only expected to be distinguished and matured in actions, but is sadly from Delta State and representing the intelligent, discerning and well respected people of Delta Central Senatorial Zone.
“Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who has been described as the mastermind of this invasion act by foreigners, for even being mentioned, associated and identified with this callous act, has brought shame to his name, the name of Delta State and the name of the people of Delta Central Senatorial Zone, who he represents, with this shameless act of national embarrassment, indiscretion and disgrace.
“The Delta State PDP condemns the actions of the alleged thugs identified as loyalists of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, for invading the Senate chambers and taking away the Mace, the symbol of Authority of the Senate, illegally.
“We fully align ourselves with the position of the National Assembly, NASS, which has quite appropriately described the action as treason and given the police, DSS and other responsible security agencies, 24 hours to recover stolen mace.
“We are in total support of the decision of the Senate, signed by Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, to get to the roots of this sad assault on democracy and an obvious act of treason which the seizure of the mace by some hoodlums represent.
“We endorse the position of the Senate which has mandated the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Kpotum Ibrahim and Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), Mallam Lawan Daura, to retrieve the mace stolen by the hoodlums within 24 hours.
“Nobody is above the law, no matter your position and acts of lawlessness and brigandage such as this, allegedly coming from a man occupying such a hallowed position is shameful and should be condemned by one and all.
“Delta State PDP hereby tenders an unreserved apology, on behalf of the good and law abiding citizens of Delta State, to the distinguished members of the Nigerian Senate and the National Assembly and indeed the entire Nigerian population for this national embarrassment which a Deltan has brought on our dear State. This is another clear testimony of the kind of leadership that the All Progressives Congress, APC is giving Nigerians and a dangerous early warning signal of what and how they intend to prosecute the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
“We hail the brave pronouncements by the Senate leadership that the National Assembly cannot be intimidated or taken for granted and we are hopeful and confident that the law of the land will take its due course in the resolution of this matter.”
Long Live PDP!
Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza
State Publicity Secretary,
PDP, Delta State