Nigeria’s police recovered a ceremonial mace stolen from the country’s parliament when at least three men burst onto the Senate floor and grabbed it while lawmakers looked on, police said.
A police search “forced the suspected miscreants to abandon the mace at a point under the flyover before City Gate, where a patriotic passer-by saw it and alerted the police”, said police in the capital.
A spokesman for the upper chamber blamed Wednesday’s incident on a suspended senator.
Decisions taken in the Senate cannot be approved without the ornamental staff, which symbolises the authority of the legislature, but the upper house resumed proceedings shortly after the theft by using a spare mace.
The theft of the mace came amid a backdrop of heightened political campaigning in Nigeria, Africa’s top crude oil producer, ahead of presidential and gubernatorial elections early next year. President Muhammadu Buhari said last week he will stand for re-election.