Falana Lawyer says Senate can hold proceeding without mace

On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, hoodlums stormed the Red chambers, seized the mace and ran out of the door.

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Mace Theft: Suspect linked to Kogi government play

Hoodlums associated with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege run out of the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly with the mace

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN),  Femi Falana has said that the Nigerian Senate can sit without a mace.

The mace is generally believed to be the official symbol of the legislative chamber in Nigeria.

On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, hoodlums stormed the Red chambers, seized the mace and ran out of the door.

The act was blamed on Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who had reportedly entered the chamber the same time as the perpetrators.

Nowhere in the constitution

Speaking further, Falana said that the constitution does not imply in anyway that legislative business cannot take place without the mace.

The lawyer said that the House of Reps or enate can sit and take binding decisions as far as they can form a quorum.

According to Vanguard, he said “Since the restoration of democratic rule in Nigeria in May 1999, several houses of assembly have been shut down due to the disappearance of the mace which is believed to be the authority of every legislative house in the country.

 “Last Wednesday, the senate was invaded by five disgruntled young men in a commando-like operation. During the commando raid the mace on the central table in the senate was snatched and taken away.

“The business of the day could not continue until a replacement was found by the senators. Even though the stolen mace has since been handed over to the senate leadership, there have been strident calls for the prosecution of the invaders.

 “Some have even suggested that the suspects be tried for treason. It is curious to know that the national assembly has not deemed it fit to enact a law to protect the mace which is so regularly snatched or stolen by legislators.

“However, while the investigation into the embarrassing invasion of the senate police is in progress it is pertinent to point out that the Mace is not a prerequisite for parliamentary business in Nigeria. In other words, the proceedings of a legislative house cannot be invalidated because of the absence of a mace.

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“By virtue of section 54 of the constitution, either of two houses of the national assembly is ‘competent to sit and conduct proceedings’ once the quorum of the members is formed.

“Nowhere in the constitution is it expressly or impliedly provided that a mace shall be provided before the senate or house of representatives or any other legislative house can sit and conduct legislative business.”

Saraki condemns hijacking of Senate's mace

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has described the hijacking of the mace by protesters as a disgrace.

Saraki said this at 4th Anniversary Lecture of online media platform, The Nitche, which held in Lagos.

The mace has however been recovered by Nigerian Police.

According to a statement made available to Pulse by the Deputy PRO, Aremu Adeniran  the mace was abandoned at the City Gate.

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