The Mace of the Gombe State House Assembly has been stolen during a session to remove the Minority Leader.
The Minority Leader, Mohammed Usman Haruna, was reported to have held a press conference on May 5 condemning the ward congress of the All Progressives Congress in the state.
This angered members of the party in the Assembly, which is dominated by the People’s Democratic Party, and they moved to remove him. Five out of eight APC members had signed the motion for his removal.
But on Thursday, during the process for his removal, one of those who had endorsed his removal made a U-turn, saying he had been forced to endorse the motion under duress.
This led to an equal split of those for his removal and those against it. In the ensuing drama, a member of the Assembly reportedly made away with the mace aided by another lawmaker.
After the lawmaker exited the chamber with it, his accomplice held the door close to enable him to get away.
After the incident, the Majority Leader of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Mr Fabulous Amos, said those involved in the theft of the mace had been suspended.
“We have suspended them for four legislative days,” he said adding that the matter was referred to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges.
The committee was mandated to investigate the incident and report back to the Assembly on Monday, May 28.
Beyond the action being taken by the Assembly, the Gombe State Police Command is aware of the incident and plans to take appropriate action after failing to stop the lawmaker from getting away with the mace.
“The policemen (at the Assembly) made strenuous efforts professionally to stop the man who was going with the mace in his vehicle,” the Commissioner of Police in the state, Shina Olukoku, said.
“In addition to that, the tyres of the vehicles were professionally shot at to prevent the escape of the member who had the mace. Eventually, the vehicle was immobilised, and it stopped on the road. But he still succeeded in going away with the mace.”
According to the police commissioner, the police are “on top of the situation” and that they will recover the mace.
“We are trying to ensure that the mace is recovered as quickly as possible while working with the leadership of the House of Assembly as well as the party leadership in the state.”