Senate Invasion: How security was compromised

Plot to remove Saraki, reinstate Omo-Agege

…Dino, Abaribe’s absence aborted ‘impeachment’

…There will not be change of leadership—Saraki

…It was an attempted coup – Ahman Aliyu Pategi

…We’ll hold Executive responsible for any harm on lawmakers —Ohaneze

…Invasion a threat to democracy – Ekweremadu

…NLC calls for probe

…Embarrassment on our security structure— Ekweremadu

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, Levinus, Emeka Mamah, Victor Ahiuma-Young, Henry Umoru Nwabughiogu, Marie-Therese Nanlong & Gabriel Olawale

INVESTIGATIONS by Saturday Vanguard have revealed that last Wednesday’s invasion of the National Assembly was a scripted plot to force the reinstatement of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and instigate the removal of the Senator Bukola Saraki leadership of the Senate.

It was learned that the conspiracy stirred by 15 senators was directed at provoking a confrontation that would have led to a pandemonium

Three vocal senators, who the dissenting senators hoped to trigger a fight that would have led to the pandemonium, were, however, absent at the sitting.

Residence of a former governor

Senate sources privy to the development told Saturday Vanguard that the 15 senators, who planned the insurrection at the Abuja residence of a former governor presently serving in the Senate had hoped that Senators Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West, Enyinnanya Abaribe, PDP, Abia South or Obinna Ogba, PDP, Ebonyi would have engaged the invaders and thus triggered a commotion that would have led to the invasion of the Senate chambers by security services.

That meeting in the night followed an earlier evening meeting at the National Assembly complex, Senate sources said.

However, by happen stance, the three senators, who the group of 15 hoped to trigger the crisis were absent that Wednesday, thereby preventing the envisaged crisis.

“To achieve the dual purpose of removing the Senate leadership, especially with the absence of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who is on an official trip to Washington, USA, and the reinstatement of Senator Omo-Agege, it was concluded that the mace should be forcefully taken away,” a source revealed.

Calculation of the plotters

The source added that: “The calculation of the plotters was that some hot-blooded Senators like Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Obinna Ogba would not allow the mace to go without making serious trouble. In the process, there would be fisticuffs and pandemonium in the red chambers,” the source close to the Senate leadership added.

“The mace would not only be taken away, but the armed invaders would use the opportunity to deal with some ‘heady’ Senators’, including the presiding officer, Ike Ekweremadu. However, it happened that Senators Dino, Ogba, and Enyinnaya Abaribe were not on in the chamber when the assailants came.”

It was further gathered that the expectation was that following the mayhem a motion for adjournment of the sitting to allow heads to cool would have followed.

The plan was that after the adjournment, the group of 15 senators would return to the Senate chambers with the mace earlier grabbed and hold a sitting during which they would have suspended the Senate leadership and elected another leadership.

The first task after that would have been to lift the suspension on Senator Omo-Agege.

“I am thanking God that Dino was not around because by the time he came he was so angry that the thugs were allowed to go away with the mace. He was saying that they would have killed him with the mace that Wednesday,” the source revealed to Saturday Vanguard.

Despite insinuations of the alleged role of security services in the plot, Saturday Vanguard has not been able to lay a direct connection between any of the security services and the 15 senators involved.

Divisional Police Officer

It was nevertheless gathered that the Divisional Police Officer of the National Assembly was not taken into confidence of the plot to invade the National Assembly.

The DPO, it was learned, was sold the dummy that the Shiites who had been protesting in Abuja were coming to the National Assembly that day. It was when he went to organise reinforcement for the National Assembly that Senator Omo-Agege came in.

Before Omo-Agege came in, a senator from the North-Central and a key leader of the Buhari Parliamentary Support Group to which Omo-Agege belongs had stepped out to make a call.

Waiting for the men to strike

A senator said: “If there was no compromise, how was it possible for a vehicle to park in front of the foyer, the entrance to the Senate, waiting for the men to strike without being questioned.

“Why was the gate which leads to the Presidential Villa where the President and Commander in Chief of the Federation do come from when entering the National Assembly opened?

“The gate which is always manned by men of the Department of State Services, DSS was manned by the operatives, and it was from there the thugs escaped. We will know the truth later.”

Reacting to the development, the Senate President, Sen Bukola Saraki, cautioned those behind the saga, spoiling for change of leadership.

Saraki, who was represented by Sen Ben Murray-Bruce at TheNiche 4th anniversary lecture, said this in Lagos yesterday:

“What happened was a disgrace and did not make any sense. Looking at it critically, they were working for change in Senate leadership, but they left what they were supposed to do and engaged in the undemocratic act.

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