…Senate Nudme fingered as Police allege internal conspiracy

Nwabughiogu ABUJA-The Sergeant-at-Arms to the National Assembly, Brighton Danwalex on Wednesday fingered Senator Ali Ndume representing Borno South Senatorial District in the Senate as a coconspirators in the recent invasion of the Senate that resulted to the snatching away of the mace by thugs at the national Assembly.

Thugs going with the Mace Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan This was as the police alleged a high level conspiracy between the thugs and some senators to seal the deal. Testifying before a joint Adhoc Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives investigating the matter, Danwalex said that Ndume prevented the security operatives from moving the Mace to safety. He said that he gave his men order to protect the Mace considered universally as a symbol of authority when the thugs broke into the senate, but senator Ndume gave a counter order to the operatives not to touch the Mace.

He said: “One of the Sergeant-at-Arms assigned to protect the Mace in Chamber wrote this during our investigation that he gave signal for his second who was standing closed to Mace to remove and take it inside but Ndume said they should not touch. “Security men are having challenges with some legislators because they don’t want to follow checks. Some will come with 5 vehicles and ask the security to allow them to pass” he added. Danwalex said that security men were overpowered due to lack of nonfunctional security gadgets to enhance operational capacity. “There is no functional walkie-talkie; we would have alerted all the exit points. The CCTV is not functional and there is only one operational patrol vehicle and the entrance into the white house requires biometric doors,’’ he said. He also submitted a copy of the report by one of his officers, however, saying it was wrong for his men to take orders from Ndume. Also testifying, the Divisional Police Officer in the National Assembly, CSP Sulu-Gambari Abdul alleged internal conspiracy over the Mace stolen from the chambers by thugs on April 18, 2018. CSP Sulu-Gambari in his testimony decried what he termed as a lack of synergy between the security apparatus and the members of the national Assembly. He said: “What happened at the National Assembly was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some of the lawmakers. “There should be a synergy between security agencies and the lawmakers, but in this case the attack came from the roof as the senators are not helping security matters. “On April 16, there was an earlier hint that a group planned to invade the National Assembly and disrupt activities, which called for a build-up of security with two units of mobile police mobilized to the complex.

“However on April 18, at about 10; 11 am, my attention was drawn to a group protesting at the gate, while I moved to address the group I was informed that some people were running away with the Mace. “I signalled all the entry points that nobody drives in or out, but three men approached me identifying themselves as security operatives and requested to be allowed to go. “The strain of blood on their clothes made me become suspicious and I ordered they be arrested. In all, six people were arrested same day and handed over to the force headquarters alongside charms recovered from them.

“In addition an unmarked Prado jeep and a Toyota Hilux were impounded and they are with the police. “It was later that I observed that the protest was a diversionary attention to move me out and that the protesters were same group with those that attacked,’’ Abdul said. He said that there was no communication of whatsoever from the Sergeant-at-Arms during the invasion by the thugs. Speaking at the hearing, chairman of the Committee, Sen.

Bala N’allah asked the Police to furnish it with copy of station’s diary where entries of the crime was made, copy of other crime routine diary, pictures of those arrested and the transfer register explaining where the invaders were transferred to. Similallry, the Co-chairman of the Committee, Hon. Betty Apiafi, bemoaned the absence of intelligence on the part of the security operatives. “The lack of the incident statement shows lack professionalism and seriousness ” she said. Also, another member of the Committee, Sen. Shehu Sani accused the security operatives in the complex of regularly collecting money to allow unauthorised persons into the premises. “People troop in here by paying money to security.

Supposing it was terrorists and had it been they came in to kill someone, they would have succeeded. How can five thugs succeed if there was no collusion? “Security men here control crowd who come to protest but melted away that day and the two Sergeant-at-Arm who normally protect the mace were not seen,’’ Sani said.

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