Ex-lawmaker condemns snatching of Senate Mace, slams upper chamber for suspending Senator

A former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and legal practitioner, Hon. Babatunde Ogala has described the snatching of the Mace of the Senate during plenary by some hoodlums as the height of brigandage, an assault not just on the legislature, but on the constitution, adding that it smacks of sheer anarchy and highly condemnable.

Reacting to the incident, Ogala said, “But in so saying, one must note that the Senate set the stage for the madness and anarchy, with the suspension of Senator Omo-Agege in flagrant disregard of the Senate Rules and the Orders of Court.

“And why do I say so? The rules of the Senate has expressly provided that once a matter is pending before a court of law, the Senate shall not deliberate on same or do any act that may interfere with the proceedings of the court.

“Senator Omo-Agege had gone to court and obtained an order of Court to restrain the Senate and it’s Committee on Ethics and Privileges from taking further steps on the investigations of his conduct pending the determination of the suit.

“Despite receiving the Order of Court, the Senate at plenary rather than stay action proceeded to condemn the order of Court and abuse the judge who granted the order.”

According to him, “the temerity to adopt a motion to write and indeed wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria threatening and asking him to call judges to order.

“And as if that was not enough, it still went ahead to invite the senator who when he attended the committee sitting declined to speak and reminded the committee of the order of Court and also reminded it of the provisions of the Senate rules that prohibits it from deliberating on a matter that’s lis pendis.

“Notwitstanding the order of court and it’s rules, the Senate set both aside and went on to suspend Senator Omo-Agege.

“It will be recalled that before the instant case, the Federal High Court had earlier delivered judgement in Senator Ali Ndume v NASS and ruled that the Senate or any legislative house had no constitutional powers to suspend an elected member and that same is unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.

“The Senate being aware of its own rules, the judgement in Ali Ndume case and the order in Omo – Agege case still went ahead to purportedly suspend the senator.

“All in all, I condemn the act of desecrating the hallowed chambers by the Omo-Agege thugs, but hold the Senate fully responsible for laying the foundation for the desecration and anarchy,” he said.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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