The investigation into the April 18 theft of the mace — the symbol of authority — from the Senate by suspected hoodlums may take more than 10 years to complete, the Nigerian Police Force said on Tuesday.
Mr. Abu Sani, Commissioner of Police in charge of IG Monitoring Unit, said this when he appeared before the Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives, co-chaired by Senator Bala Ibn Na-Allah, representing Kebbi South, and Hon Betty Apiafi, representing Ahoada-East/Abua/Odual Federal Constituency of Rivers State, on Tuesday.
According to Sani, the arrested suspects had denied involvement in the snatching of the mace from the Senate, rendering police investigation into the matter inconclusive.
The police commissioner said the police command were still trying to establish the link between the suspects in their custody and those who made away with the mace. He presented an interim report of the police to the panel.
“The CCTV that was supposed to capture what happened from outside to inside the chamber was not functional,” he said. “That would have assisted in puncturing the denial of the suspects.”
He noted that the internal security of the hallowed chamber that was left in the hands of the sergeant-at arms compounded the matter, as he relied on GSM rather than radio to communicate when the thugs struck.
Hon. Apiafi said that from what the Commissioner of Police had said, the investigation could even take 30 years. While Sen. Na’Allah was of the opinion that the police had not been adhering to rule of law in their investigation, “otherwise the suspects would have been charged to court through FIR (First Information Report)”.
The mace of the National Assembly was snatched by hoodlums believed to be loyal to Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who was on suspension at the time. The snatched mace was later found under a flyover before the city’s gate and had since been returned to the upper chamber.
Also, Omo-Agege’s suspension has since been upturned by a court, and he is back in office.