Suspended Nigerian Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is in police custody and will likely be charged with organizing the plan to steal the mace during Wednesday’s plenary session.
A group of thugs stormed Wednesday’s meeting and grabbed the mace, which is a symbol of power and authority of Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, and quickly made their escape.
Police say the mace was found abandoned under a bridge in the capital Abuja.
Deputy Speaker of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu who was presiding over the plenary session when the incident occurred called it an institutional invasion which senators were not going to take lightly.
“The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has just been invaded and we are not going to take it kindly. This is an institutional invasion,” he said. The mace was replaced and the sitting continued after a closed-door meeting of the Senate leadership.
The theft was roundly condemned by senators even though some Nigerians on social media supported the action saying “to some members of the public, the chaos that the lawmakers preside over has now come close to them.”