Mace Theft Investigation: Don’t be afraid, Shehu Sani tells Omo-Agege

The embattled lawmaker, Ovie Omo-Agege, on Tuesday told an investigative panel he would not comment on the subject he was invited for. Shehu Sani

The panel was set up by the Senate and the House of Representatives to investigate the Senate invasion and mace theft last month.

The committee invited Mr Omo-Agege to give a brief on his role in the saga after he was accused of leading the hoodlums.

Mr Omo-Agege was alleged to have led the hoodlums to the Senate chamber. The thugs carted away the mace, the Senate’s symbol of authority. The mace was later found by the police.

Mr Omo-Agege told the committee that he has filed a court order restraining the public hearing and that speaking about his role will only amount to a subjudice. Shehu Sani

The chairman of the committee, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, challenged him on the court order he was referring to.

Mr Omo-Agege in response said he has instituted a court process in which Mr Na’Allah and others are party to.

Mr Na’Allah said he was not served any court paper, hence the hearing can proceed. Other lawmakers on the panel queried Mr Omo-Agege on the authority he is relying on for making such move.

Mr Na’Allah specifically wanted Mr Omo-Agege to say if it is right for a lawmaker to institute court proceedings just to stall Senate probe.

“Does that mean that if someone is not happy with the budget, he can go to court,” he questioned.

“The issue is none of us here who has been allegedly put on that court order had been served,” he added.

Again, Mr Omo-Agege replied that he would not answer the question posed to him because of the court process. He said he is relying on Order 3(5) of the Senate standing order for his decision.

The order restricts the Senate from probing a case that is already in court.

Mr Na’Allah in response said he holds the authority to decide whether the matter will amount to subjudice or not.

“This is not a proper authority to rely on,” he said. “You are taking my role as chairman. I have the right to decide whether an issue will be subjudice.”

The co-chairman of the committee and member of the House of Representatives, Betty Apiafi, insisted Mr Omo-Agege must give his account. Shehu Sani

Quoting section 62 the Nigerian constitution, she said the senator’s court proceeding does not stop him from speaking before the committee.

“The constitution does not give legal rights to stop our processes,” she said.

Ruling, Mr Na’Allah said there is ‘nothing legally stopping’ the committee from proceeding. He, however, said Mr Omo-Agege will be allowed to choose whether he would speak or not. Shehu Sani

Mr Omo-Agege said he would not speak until the matter is settled in court.

He read the title and parties to the case to put his action “on record.”

He said further, “I want to state one more time that in respect to the summons, I appeared today. But I have decided because I have a pending action in court, which action was commenced yesterday…

“All of the parties I named have been duly served and I have a proof of Service.

“As a consequence of this, I have decided that i will wait until the outcome of this before I give any testimony.”

The lawmaker representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, is currently appearing before the joint Senate and House of Representatives ad hoc committee set up to investigate the invasion and mace snatching at the Senate chamber on April 18, 2018.

Omo-Agege had taken the National Assembly to court to stop the investigation. He made this known to our correspondent on Monday.

The committee had, last week, invited senators Omo-Agege and Ali Ndume over their alleged roles in the attack on the Senate.

See Also: Senator Omo-Agege’s supporters storm NASS in protest

Chairman of the committee, Senator Bala Ibn 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.

The panel had, however, shifted the investigative hearing to Tuesday following an extended session held by the Senate last Wednesday for consideration and passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill.

Both chambers of the National Assembly had also skipped plenary last Thursday to allow members of the All Progressives Congress attend to the state congresses held by the party last Saturday.

Ndume had confirmed receipt of the invitation when contacted by our correspondent last Wednesday and said the sitting had been shifted to Tuesday (today).

He had, however, declined further comments on it.

Omo-Agege had said he would appear before the panel, although he had taken the legal step to stop the probe.

I’ve sued you, I’ll make no comment, Omo-Agege tells panel

Omo-Agege has told the probe panel that ‎he had dragged it to court along with several others. He stated that it would be sub judice for him to speak on the matter.

“I am here to inform you that we’ve gone to court,” he said.

There was, however, an exchange of words between Na’Allah and Omo-Agege on whether the panel had been duly served.

“I’ve not been served,” Na’Allah stated.

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 have also criticised the lawmaker for the legal action against the panel and the legislature.

The lawmaker representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, is currently appearing before the joint Senate and House of Representatives ad hoc committee set up to investigate the invasion and mace snatching at the Senate chamber on April 18, 2018.

Omo-Agege had taken the National Assembly to court to stop the investigation. He made this known to our correspondent on Monday.

The committee had, last week, invited senators Omo-Agege and Ali Ndume over their alleged roles in the attack on the Senate.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Bala Ibn 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.

The panel had, however, shifted the investigative hearing to Tuesday following an extended session held by the Senate last Wednesday for consideration and passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill.

Both chambers of the National Assembly had also skipped plenary last Thursday to allow members of the All Progressives Congress attend to the state congresses held by the party last Saturday.

Ndume had confirmed receipt of the invitation when contacted by our correspondent last Wednesday and said the sitting had been shifted to Tuesday (today).

He had, however, declined further comments on it. Shehu Sani

Omo-Agege had said he would appear before the panel, although he had taken the legal step to stop the probe.

I’ve sued you, I’ll make no comment, Omo-Agege tells panel

Omo-Agege has told the probe panel that ‎he had dragged it to court along with several others. He stated that it would be sub judice for him to speak on the matter.

“I am here to inform you that we’ve gone to court,” he said. Shehu Sani

There was, however, an exchange of words between Na’Allah and Omo-Agege on whether the panel had been duly served.

“I’ve not been served,” Na’Allah stated. Shehu Sani

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 have also criticised the lawmaker for the legal action against the panel and the legislature.

Omo-Agege

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