The Joint Senate and House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee set up to investigate the April 18, 2018 invasion and snatching of mace at the Senate by hoodlums has resolved to go ahead with the probe despite a suit filed by one of the suspects, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
Omo-Agege and Senator Ali Ndume appeared before the committee at its investigative hearing on Tuesday where they were asked to explain their alleged roles in the attack on the Senate.
The committee had last week invited Omo-Agege and Ndume over allegation of complicity in the crime.
Na’Allah, while announcing the summons last Tuesday, had noted that testimonies given by various security personnel at the National Assembly Complex before the panel had implicated Omo-Agege and Ndume.
Omo-Agege, however, told the panel that he had dragged the National Assembly to court to stop the investigation.
After the allegations made against him by witnesses were read to him, Omo-Agege said, “Ordinarily, I would have loved to seize this opportunity to respond to the allegations that you have raised but as a senator who is consistent with the provisions of the Standing Orders, I am here to inform you that we have gone to court.”
The lawmaker listed parties to the suit he filed before a Federal High Court as including Na’Allah “along with all the members of the committee.”
Others are the Senate; Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; Director-General, Department of State Services, Lawal Daura; and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Omo-Agege said, “This action was commenced at the Federal High Court on the 21st of May 2018, and I have here the proof of service to indicate that all of the parties I just enumerated have been served.”
There was an exchange of words between Na’Allah and Omo-Agege on whether the panel had been duly served.
Na’Allah said he had not been served but Omo-Agege said he had the evidence that his office had been served.
While Omo-Agege said the notice of the originating summons had been served the office of the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Na’Allah pointed out that the notice should be served in person and not to the office he occupies in the Senate.
Several members of the panel also criticised the lawmaker for the legal action against the panel and the legislature.
Na’Allah put a prayer asking the panel to continue with the probe, and it was unanimously approved by its members.
“The ruling is that there is nothing legal before us to stop us from proceeding with the assignment,” the chairman said.
Na’Allah asked Omo-Agege if he had any presentation to make before the committee. The lawmaker, however, said it would be sub judice for him to speak on a matter on which he had instituted a legal action.
When it was time for the panel to take Ndume, the lawmaker called for a closed-door session, a prayer that was granted. Na’Allah noted that it was in accordance with the Senate’s Standing Rules.
After about 30 minutes, the session was made open.
Responding to a question on the allegation made against him by witnesses, Ndume said, “What happened on that day was very unfortunate. I was surprised. It was like a movie. And I’m worried. That is one reason I chose to come before the committee to give my advice or testimony as to what happened and what we need to do. I didn’t know since my being in the National Assembly that we were that exposed.
“For me to prevent somebody or advise somebody not to do his job is totally out of place. I don’t have the authority to do that. I did not do that. I cannot do that. And I am not supposed to do that.”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police has said its investigation of the invasion and mace snatching by hoodlums at the Senate chamber on April 18, 2018, may last for 30 years.
The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters, Mr. Abu Sani, made this known on Tuesday when he appeared before the committee.