A Series Of Unfortunate Nigerian Events: The Stolen Maces.

June 11, 2019

For a state as dysfunctional as Nigeria, certain things surprisingly occur like clockwork. For instance, you can be certain politicians will catch the slumming bug at the start of an election cycle, taking sudden interests in street food and market women affairs. Or how sometime during the year, you can bet your last Apple Capri-sonne, at least one politician will be fingered for misappropriated funds entering into the hundreds of millions of Dollars.

Yes, like clockwork, it’s almost a given that the mace of a state or even the National Assembly will be snatched ⁠(and not in the way your waist in last Sunday’s outfit was) at the first signs of trouble for the Speaker of the house in question.

Now to backtrack a little, the mace is a symbol of authority for the Nigerian legislature. In the past you may have taken it to be a rather intricately designed spear, to be hurled at unruly lawmakers during sessions ⁠— or at least my overly imaginative 6-year old brain did. But what it truly represents is legitimacy for any sitting of the Senate; without which, a recognised sitting of the house cannot hold.

As true beacons of respectability in the state, the lawmakers know of and appreciate the power of the mace. It is why, rather than having disagreeable decisions made in its presence, they steal it altogether to ensure the right decisions (as they see it!) are made.

Embarrassing us to no end and adding several feathers to the cap of Nigeria’s most unfortunate events, here are some instances of the sacred mace being snatched by members/agents of the country’s legislature:

1. Stolen In Kaduna

On September 24th, 2013, following a power play to remove the then Speaker of the Kaduna House of Assembly – Alhaji Usman Gangara, and other leaders of the state legislative house for poor and uninspiring leadership, the mace mysteriously went missing.

Well, that is if you call the speaker, Alhaji Gangara coming in earlier in the day of September 24th to retrieve the mace so no legitimate session would hold ⁠— mysterious.

Unfortunately for him, the remaining members of the house, using the mace previously adopted by the former legislature, decided on his removal, and appointed another speaker – Alhaji Shehu Tahir (PDP-Giwa West), as the new Speaker, by 19 out of the 34 member legislature.

2. Whisked away in Rivers State

2013 was a busy year for mace theft. Back then, while Rotimi Amaechi served as state governor, the House of Assembly was divided into 2 blocs in the state – one which pledged loyalty to Amaechi and the other to the present day governor of the state – Nyesom Wike, who was then serving as the state minister for education.

27 members were loyal to Amaechi, while 5 picked sides with Wike.

Those 5 however, announced a move to impeach the speaker of the house – Mr. Otelemababama Amachree; causing a ruckus that saw the very grown, very respectable remainder of 27 members of the house, taking away the mace forcefully, until 3 out of the 5 members were injured.

3. Spirited away in the Senate.

Mr. Chuba Okadigbo served as  Senate President between the years 1999 and 2000, before an alleged involvement in a contract scandal led to his impeachment from the office.

But let it never be said that he didn’t put up a fight to retain his seat. Upon word reaching him that a plot to remove him was underway, the Senate President adjourned the house and took the mace away from the National Assembly to an unknown location.

The mace was on one part stated to have been hidden away in Ogbunike, Anambra State. Then there was talk that it was being kept in the safety of a 7-foot python. His private residence was visited by members of the police where he and members of his household present were harassed to divulge the whereabouts of the mace.

However, despite his best efforts, he was voted out on the night if August 8, 2000 by a session presided by John Azuta Mbata, who was acting as Senate President Pro Tempore.

4. Carted off in Anambra

In 2017, following allegations of financial impropriety and gross misconduct, plans were in the offing to remove the speaker of the Anambra House of Assembly – Mrs. Rita Maduagwu.

On April 6, 2017, while present in the house at time motions were being laid in favour of her removal, the Speaker quietly made away with the mace to prevent the plot from going through, surprising the majority present in the house to carry out the impeachment procedures.

Despite best efforts however, her removal was confirmed on November 30, 2018, with a majority of 20 to the 30 members of the House of Representatives.

5. Abducted in Abuja

When you get upset, do you:

a.Throw a tantrum

b.Eat the pain away, or

c. Examine the reason for your dejectedness and find ways out of it?

For Delta State lawmaker, Ovie Omo-Agege, the answer would be none of the above. Upset with his suspension from the Senate on April 12, 2018 for refusing to support the Electoral Act Amendment to re-organise the order for the elections (a perceived act against President Buhari) — sitting and sulking away his hurt would not suffice.

Instead, he did what any rational thinking lawmaker would do — invading the National Assembly with thugs and stealing the mace. He denied any involvement with the abduction of the mace despite being seen in full view leading the thugs into the building, and the mace was eventually discovered at the City Gate, Abuja.

For all his effort, Omo Agege is being considered a contender for the Deputy Senate Presidency. Don’t you just love highly unlikely happy endings and things coming full circle?

Boyin Plumptre

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 2, 2019

October 1st is Nigeria’s Independence day. Yay! We celebrated her 59th yesterday. Gurrrrl, you’re getting old! Who would have thunk it? You’ve survived without colonial rule for this long? Wow, you deserve some accolades babe! Well, many Nigerians are saying there isn’t much to celebrate. Do we consider the heightened insecurity issues this year? Or […]

October 1, 2020

Today, Nigeria turns 60 as an independent nation. But how has the journey really been, especially for people who have been there from the start? We decided to ask a few older people to take us through Nigerian at inception and Nigeria now. 1. Funke, 60/Female I was born in 1960, in Igbara-Oke, present-day Ondo […]


Now on Zikoko

November 25, 2020

If you’re a Nigerian woman living abroad, chances are that you’ve run into one or more of these types of Nigerian men. 1) Mr. qualifications Before you say anything, they’ll remind you about all their degrees – MBA, PHD, WAP, MD. 2) Green card gang In your first conversation, they want to know your status […]

November 25, 2020

2:49 a.m.  I wake up and I know instantly. I’m sick. Okay, maybe “sick” is a tad dramatic. I have phlegm and it won’t stop until I use some medication. It happens to me every year during harmattan and it’s usually very frustrating. Ugh, now I will be spitting all day. Iyama.  6:36 a.m.  All […]

November 25, 2020

Traditionally, marriage is designed to be a life-long commitment between two people. Sometimes, people go against the norm and seek emotional and sexual solace with people other than their spouses. I spoke to eight married men about cheating on their wives, why they do it and what the future of their marriages look like. Ben […]

Recommended Quizzes

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

November 25, 2019

We already guessed how many people you’ve slept with, and y’all were out here denying the truth. Anyway, we won’t hold that against you. This time, however, we’ve created a quiz that predicts who you’ll sleep with next — so you can either prepare or try (unsuccessfully) to prevent it. So, take and see:

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

March 24, 2020

While we know that a lot of the best Nigerian artists deservedly have fans across generations, that won’t stop us from attempting to guess how old you are based on your taste in Nigerian music. So, take this quiz to see if we got it right:

More from Citizen

UK Sanctions Nigeria
November 24, 2020

Yesterday, November 24th 2020, the UK parliament, at the Westminister Hall debated e-petition 554150, relating to Nigeria and the sanctions regime. The debate was led by Theresa Villiers MP, and it suggested sanctions for members of the Nigerian Government and police officers who have been involved in human rights abuses. The parliamentary debate has generated […]

Nigeria recession
November 23, 2020

Recession, palliative, ad-hoc committee, ultra-modern, bistro — you can’t claim to be a Nigerian if you’ve never heard these words. They are so popular, we wrote about them. Speaking of recession, on Saturday, November 22nd, 2020, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported that Nigeria’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) reduced by 3.62% from September to October […]

November 19, 2020

The Nigerian police is ranked as one of the worst in the world, and the Nigerian society is notable for widespread human rights abuses. In your house or outside it, you’re always a moment away from having your rights abused by the police in Nigeria. After the #EndSARS protests, the Nigerian police have ramped up […]

CNN Lekki
November 18, 2020

Some Nigerians were still rolling in their bed this morning, trying to pick up pieces of their lives after the Lekki Massacre, when CNN Africa sent shockwaves through Nigeria’s part of the Internet.  In a brilliant collation of all the videos that have trended over the #LekkiMassacre, mixed with excellent investigative reportage that made use […]

Eromosele Adene
November 17, 2020

If you don’t know about Eromosle “Eromz” Adene’s case, well you should. The arrest of the 27-year old musician and philanthropist has generated a lot of controversy across social media, with opinions and counter opinions on how horrible the Nigerian society is, and why the Nigerian government cannot keep abusing human rights while getting away […]

Local government in Nigeria
November 16, 2020

A local government is an important part of governance in Nigeria. Local governments supplement the work of the federal government and the 36 state governments by administering a particular area. However, many Nigerians always complain about the federal government and state governments while ignoring that there is also a local government. In fact, if many […]

Nigerian police can arrest you
November 15, 2020

“Park! You’re guilty of reckless carriage of a heavy load condensed as two trunks right in between your back and your legs, something like an ukwu!” Okay, the Nigerian police shouldn’t arrest you for that. But these are 5 things that can actually land you in court: 1. Witchcraft E shock you? You didn’t know […]

Access Bank
November 14, 2020

Access bank is no stranger to court cases relating to “Post No Debit” (PND) orders, and we will explain so in this article. On November 4, 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) obtained an order from a Federal High Court in Abuja that empowered it to freeze the bank accounts of 20 individuals and […]

November 12, 2020

Lately, Nigerian courts seem to be issuing a lot of ex parte orders. On November 6, the Central Bank of Nigeria obtained an ex parte court order freezing the accounts of 20 individuals and public affairs companies linked to the #EndSARS protests. The CBN was able to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.