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Mace Theft: NASS Panel Condemns Police Over Slow Pace of investigation

National Ad-hoc committee probing invasion of Senate’s wing of National Assembly and mace theft on Tuesday kicked against the slow pace of the investigation on the issue by Nigerian Police.

Hoodlums had on April 18 invaded the Senate’s wing of National Assembly taken away the mace of Senate’s chamber.

The Commissioner of Police in charge IG Monitoring,  Abu Bello had told the Panel that Police is yet to get to the root of the matter adding that it could take ten years before the issue is unravelled.

He also told the lawmakers that due to malfunctioning of Close Circuit Television (CCT) the Police are unable to link those arrested with those seen in the video for mace theft.

Angered by the Police statement, the Chairman of the ad-hoc committee,  Senator Bala Na’Allah said that it is difficult to appreciate slow pace of the investigation by the police.

He said that the Police is not following the rule of law on this matter because people should have been arraigned.

He added that there are theories going around that the incident occurred in connivance with security agencies to embarrass the National Assembly.

Earlier,  Senator Mohammed Ndume and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege appeared before the committee but decline to speak to the committee on his involvement in mace snatching saying the matter is already in Court of law.

Omo-Agege listed Senate President Bukola Saraki and Bala Na’Allah, chairman of the committee, as defendants of the suit.

He said, “Ordinarily, I will love to take these opportunity to respond to the allegations raised but I am here to inform you that I have gone to court and parties have been served.

“The action was taken on the 21st of May, 2018 and all the parties enumerated have been served.

Responding,  the Deputy Senate Leader said he could not be served by his office.

He said, “I cannot be served by my office. You should know this.

“I have no problem receiving service. Maybe due to my inadequate knowledge of the law. The service has to be personal.”

In his defence before the panel, Senator Ndume said: “I’m surprised. I didn’t know in my whole years in this National Assembly that we are that exposed. For some people to just come in and take the mace and run away.

“For me to prevent somebody or to advise somebody not to do his job is just totally out of place because I don’t have the authority to do that.

“I did not do that, I cannot do that and I’m not supposed to do that.

“It’s just like saying now that because you are a father to a policeman who is supposed to prevent crime and arrest criminals, then you as his father when you see a criminal and he commits crime and you say don’t arrest him and he refuse to arrest.

“And he comes to say I didn’t arrest the criminal because my father said I should not. It doesn’t make sense.

“I really want to sit down and write to this committee but it is confidential.

“If you say it in the face of the camera, somebody that is trying to circumvent that will now read through and know how to circumvent it.”

The Panel however summoned officer in charge of case at the Police Command to give the Committee update on the state of investigation on those arrested on the mace theft and invasion.

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