- A group of armed men interrupted a senate meeting and stole a mace in Nigeria
- Some Nigerian Senators have described the attack an attempted Coup d'état
The Nigerian Senate was on high alert on Wednesday, after armed men interrupted a session at Nigeria's parliament, stealing its mace.
According to reports, the gunmen were allegedly led by a suspended member of the senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, and seized the symbol of authority from the upper legislative chambers sitting in Abuja.
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The incident is said have been described as an 'an act of treason' by Aliyu Abdullahi, a Senate spokesman who said the lawmaker was trying to overthrow a branch of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
"This action is an affront on the legislature. Security agencies must stand on the side of due process and immediately mobilize their personnel to retrieve the mace and apprehend the perpetrators of this act," the spokesperson for the Senate was quoted in BBC report.
Further reports say laws cannot be passed by Nigeria's Senate currently in the absence of the mace, a symbol of authority binding decisions taken on the Senate floor.
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However, Shehu Sani, a representative of Kaduna Central, said despite the incident, sessions continued on Wednesday in the 109-member assembly with a spare mace.
"I and others insisted that the Senate must not adjourn. I removed my waist belt and lay to serve as a mace for us to continue. My colleagues seconded, then a spare mace was brought in and the session continued," Sani added.
Some Nigerian lawmakers who condemned the attack on Facebook, called the incident an attempted coup that could fester if not addressed.
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