The Nigeria Police Force said the Mace forcefully taken away by men suspected to be thugs during plenary of the Senate on Wednesday has been recovered.
Deputy Force Spokesman, SP Aremu Adeniran, said that the mace was abandoned under the flyover before the city gate in Abuja where a passerby saw it and alerted the police.
According to him, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris had ordered the FCT Police Command to beef-up security at the National Assembly.
He said that investigation into the incident was still ongoing to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The deputy spokesman commended Abuja residents, especially motorists, for their cooperation during the rigorous stop and search operation for the recovery of the mace.
Adeniran said that the commitment of the police to guarantee the protection of lives and property and sustain democracy in the country remained unequivocal and unwavering.
The National Assembly had given the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and Daura Lawal, the Director General of Department of State Services (DSS) 24 hours to recover the mace.
This resolution was made during a joint session of both chambers of National Assembly hurriedly convened at the instance of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, over the incident.
Ekweremadu was presiding over the Senate session when the symbol of authority was taken away by yet to be identified thugs.
At the joint session, he briefed lawmakers how the armed thugs stormed the Senate chamber in a commando style, beat up the Sargent At Arms who tried to stop them and even tried to kidnap two senators before they made away with the mace.
He asked the police boss, Ibrahim Idris and Director General of DSS, Lawal Daura to go after the invaders and ensure that the mace is recovered.
He described the incident as an affront to the parliament and democracy, just as he vowed to get to the root of the matter.
Ekweremadu and other senators tactically escaped through the emergency doors in order not to be caught up in the melee.
The Senate, in a statement by its spokesperson, Sabi Aliyu, said the thugs who seized the maze were led by a suspended Senate, Mr. Ovie Omo-Agege.
The Senate asserted that the seizure of the mace is an attempt to overthrow the legislative arm of government.
Senator Omo Agege was later arrested at the premises of the National Assembly by a team of police officers led by FCT Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Abubakar Bello.
But a lawyer working with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege denied reports that he was the one behind the theft of the mace at the Senate on Wednesday.
The lawyer also said the senator did not encourage anyone to remove the mace.
The lawyer who identified himself as Barrister Lucky Ajos said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening that contrary to insinuations, the suspended senator went to the National Assembly to work as required of him by the constitution.
Ajos said when Omo-Agege arrived at the National Assembly, some senators tried to send him away from the Senate while some welcomed him warmly.
He said, “A few champions of the unconstitutional, invalid and tyrannical suspension tried to stop him, but those who opposed it welcomed and protected him throughout the sitting.”
Denying reports that Omo-Agege incited some people to steal the mace, Ajos stated that the allegation was wrong and not true at all.
The lawyer also condemned the statement issued by the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Abdullahi Sabi, while promising to study the statement and take proper actions.
“Without any investigation, Senator Sabi willfully, deliberately and unfairly made very serious allegations against Senator Omo-Agege on the Mace incident. We are carefully studying Senator Sabi’s allegations to ascertain their full ramifications.”
Stressing the innocence of Omo-Agege on the mace affair, Ajos said the police only took the Senator away to hear his side of the story and he has since been released.
The Senate had resorted to the use of a ‘replacement mace’ to conclude the plenary on Wednesday after thugs took away the original mace.