- Police claim thug who brazenly invaded the National Assembly and snatched the Senate mace has not been arrested
- It was also reported that the police are also yet to formally declare him wanted
- The police had already arrested six suspects in connection to the invasion
- In another twist to the story, the police say investigation into the matter could take up to 10 years
The thug who shocked Nigeria by snatching the National Assembly mace is yet to be arrested according to the Nigeria police.
This was disclosed by Habu Sani, a commissioner of police when he appeared before members of the National Assembly ad-hoc committee investigating the incident.
“Among the suspects that were suspects, the person who took the mace was not among those ones arrested, that means he was part of those that ran away with the mace,” Sani disclosed.
Premium Times reports that although the police announced it had arrested six suspects in connection to the invasion, Mr Sani said the arrow man, who grabbed the mace is still at large.
It was also reported that the police are yet to formally declare him wanted, despite admitting he is yet to be arrested.
He was reacting to a question raised by Bala Na’Allah, chairman of the investigative committee who said the committee would like to know the present status of the suspects who were arrested by the command but transferred to the force headquarters.
Going further, Sani had explained that investigation into the matter is yet to be concluded and as a result of this, he would skip on some facts so as not to jeopardise the probe.
“But the focus at that time (day of the theft) was for us to get the suspects. Unfortunately, the alleged suspects were taken by the command headquarters with the senator, Omo-Agege, that was said to be responsible for bringing some of the hoodlums.
“As at that time, from the other side of the force investigation, we have not seen the suspects. They are still in the custody of the police command and we allow them to carry out some preliminary investigation before transferring the case while we continue to give the technical and special attention to unravel the theft or possible removal of the Senate mace.
“Since the command is conversant with the environment, they were allowed to continue the investigation.”
“The CCTV that was supposed to capture what happened from outside to inside the chamber was not functional. That would have assisted in puncturing the denial of the suspects,” he said.
Going further, he said the six arrested were not found with the mace and that is what the police is trying to unravel.
“What we have is that on that fateful day, a suspended senator made himself available at the plenary on the ground that the senate has no right to suspend him. Alongside with him, there are people who claimed to be his aide and assisted him to enter the chamber. While they were there, an incident happened that a non-member of the Senate took the mace out.
“The only aspect we needed to go further is trying to see the link between them and the removal. As at the time they were arrested, the mace was not recovered from them, rather, it was recovered outside. That means, if the number with the statement by the clerk that they are five and we have six suspects. That means the number he saw may be more than that. It means we have to expand and that is what we are doing.”
Reacting to the testimony of Sani, the co-chair of the committee, Betty Apiafi, a member of the House of Representatives, questioned the police officer on their competence and pace of the investigation.
“I’m just wandering what kind of investigation you are doing when the prime suspects are in the command and you haven’t seen them one month after,” she said.
It was reported that after expressing her reservation over the delay in the completion of the investigation, Sani said it could take up to 10 years.
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NAIJ.com had reported that the joint session of National Assembly ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to ensure the return of the Senate's mace within twenty-four hours.
NAIJ.com reported that the protesters on Wednesday, April 18, stormed the Senate chamber and stole the mace. The alleged thugs were supporters of a suspended senator, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Street gist: Should the Nigerian senate be scrapped? - on NAIJ.com TV.