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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said Tuesday’s attack on the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre by terrorists speaks volumes about the failure of the country’s security architecture.
Lawan who led a delegation of the leadership of the Senate on Thursday to assess the level of attack on the correctional facility by insurgents faulted the Nigerian Correctional Service for not providing Closed Circuit Television cameras at the Kuje correctional facility and others across the country.
Speaking after an assessment of the correctional facility, Lawan said, “The attack on this correctional facility is symptomatic of the failure of security architecture. The attack is only a culmination of the failure of security systems.
“We were told that an estimated 300 terrorists attacked this facility. They came on foot, and I believe they should have been detected.
“In the first place, three hundred people will not come for an operation like this without planning. Planning must have taken a week, a month or a bit more.
“I believe that our security agencies should have picked this from their tracking systems in the FCT.”
Lawan also expressed gross disappointment over the lack of CCTV cameras in the facility saying that such an attack could have been altercated if the relevant authorities got signals early enough from the prison.
The Senate President then asked the Comptroller General of the NCS to include a request for the provision of CCTV cameras across maximum and medium correctional centers across the country in its 2023 budget proposal to the National Assembly for approval.
He said, “Secondly, having gone round the facility itself, we are disappointed that this facility does not have Closed Circuit Television cameras, something that would record and give you details of what is happening and sometimes record the events.
“This is a medium security custodial center, how on earth in the FCT facility of this magnitude we don’t have CCTV? It means we can say that all other medium security centers across the country do not have CCTV.
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“We have asked the Comptroller General of Correctional Centre to ensure that the request for CCTV at the maximum and medium custodial centres of the country are included in their 2023 budget because this is essential and indispensable.”
“Now, as this facility lacks a functional CCTV, there’s no record of what happened, except narration. But if we had CCTV, at least the records would have been there and analysis made, and arrest will be based on the information from the CCTV,” he stated.
The Senate President said that here people fail to do their job properly, and they have been given that responsibility, they should be asked to take responsibility.
He said, “If people don’t take responsibility for their failure, then it means nobody would bother to do what is expected of their office or the job that the person has been given.
“Having this kind of situation today in the FCT, that we have criminals who are free now all over the city is very dangerous and you can never have peace of mind
“The FCT has the seat of government, and today that seat is not safe. So, we have to do whatever it takes to get everybody back.”
Lawan, therefore, tasked the security agencies to ensure that the insurgents who escaped from the Kuje medium security custodial center are found and brought back.
Some gunmen believed to be terrorists had on Tuesday night bombed the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre, Abuja, the terrorists released 600 inmates, including 15 deadly Boko Haram commanders who masterminded the March 28 attack on the Kaduna-Abuja train at Katari, Kaduna, in which eight persons were killed and over 68 passengers kidnapped.
In a twist of event on Wednessday, the Islamic State West Africa Province claimed responsibility for the attack in a 30-second video which showed the gunmen setting ablaze vehicles parked in the facility afterwhich they released some victims of the Kaduna train attack in their custody.