DEPUTY Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has confirmed the retrieval of the stolen mace abducted from the upper legislative chamber on Wednesday.
Mr Ekweremadu also made known the intention of the Senate to summon the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, to furnish its lawmakers with details of their investigation on the matter.
The mace was stolen from the Senate chamber by some hoodlums believed to be working for a senator, Ovie Omo-Agege while plenary was on.
However, the Police returned the Mace to the Senate on Thursday after claiming it recovered it under a bridge.
“This hallowed chamber supported by the House of Representatives demanded that the Inspector-General of Police recover and return the stolen mace to the Senate within 24 hours. Concerned colleagues and Nigerians who wanted to find out if the mace has been found have inundated me with calls and messages since last night. Let me therefore formally confirm to you that the mace has been recovered and returned by the police as demanded by this hallowed chamber,” Ekweremadu said.
He added that the lawmakers have resolved that appropriate sanctions be meted out to all security personnel and individuals fingered in the invasion.
“Nevertheless, we believe there should be consequences for bad behaviour. We swore to uphold the laws of Nigeria and the principles of rule of law. It still beats the imagination of Nigerians and the civilised world that the attackers passed through several security checks and barriers of the National Assembly and gained access into this chamber and also escaped with the mace into the thin air despite the well-known fortified surroundings of this parliament. Therefore, we ruled that it will be a detour to the state of nature when life was lawless and brutish if what happened yesterday was allowed to go unpunished or to be swept under the carpet. It will never happen. We’ll get to the root of this matter.
“We therefore call on the Inspector-General of Police and DG SSS to ensure that all those who plotted, aided, abetted and executed this dastardly affront on our democracy and belittled Nigeria before the international community must be brought to book to serve as deterrence to others. We will be inviting them next week to brief us.”
Mr Ekweremadu used the opportunity to again advocate for a decentralised police system which he said would have prevented the attack.
“This incident has also brought to the fore the case many have always made for the decentralised police system. Ordinarily, a big institution like the National Assembly should have its own police apart from the sergeant-at-arms. However, the security of this parliament is fully outside the control of the National Assembly. Instructively, the same gangsterism that was witnessed here yesterday has been recorded in various state houses of assemblies.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we will never waver in the responsibilities they have elected us to shoulder. We will all stand together to defend this institution of the parliament and our democracy. We will never fear to legislate and we will never legislate out of fear,” he added.