Senate Crisis Takes a New Turn As Mace Disappears

Barely 24 hours after the Senate President, Bukola Saarki, left for the United States of America for a business summit, the Mace, the symbol of Authority of the Senate, was carted away by thugs believed to be working for Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, in full view of the plenary presided over by the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu, a situation that saw the House of Representatives to shelve sitting in solidarity with their senate counterparts. They later converged at the Senate Chambers to follow the proceedings.

Omo-Agege has been suspended by the senate, which raised speculations hat Omo Agege is behind the mace snatch. “This action is an act of treason, as it is an attempt to overthrow a branch of the Federal Government of Nigeria by force, and it must be treated as such, says the Senate spokesperson, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.

The mace, however, has been replaced when the senate went into an executive session.

On April 12, the Senate suspended Omo-Agege during plenary session over his remarks on the amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act, which changes the sequence of elections set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Omo Agege has insisted that the senate position was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari. Omo Agege later addressed the press on the issue without recourse to the senate rules, which authorises the senate spokesperson to speak for the senate.

But delta state Apc had described the suspension as “Legislative tyrany”.
Speaking to he press on the issue, spokesman for the group, Chief Adelabu Bodjor, said that by the letters and spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Senate cannot nullify, tinker with, or suspend the election of a senator of our Republic

“The Senate cannot compel a senator to vacate his seat and, as a consequence, deny his people their constitutionally guaranteed right of representation. A senator can only vacate his seat by the reason of death, a recall by his constituents or if, without a division in the party on whose platform he was elected, he defects from that party, or otherwise by an appropriate judicial pronouncement. None of these is the case at hand.

“It is extremely offensive that the distinguished Senator Omo-Agege was purportedly suspended for his opinions on a controversial amendment to the Electoral Act regarding the sequence of general elections.

“The senator did not break any law of the land. Rather, his only alleged fault is that he said, ‘there is a perception out there that the proposed amendment is targeted at Mr. President (Buhari).’ But many share the truth, thoughts or sentiments expressed by our senator. Indeed, just two days ago, it was noted that the target of the reordering of the (election) sequence was the Presidency,” he said.

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