President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the Tuesday’s attack on the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre by terrorists speaks volumes about the failure of the country’s security architecture.
Lawan stated this on Thursday when he led a delegation of the leadership of the Senate to assess the level of damage on the correctional facility by insurgents.
Lawmakers on the Senate delegation, which also had some members of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, were conducted around the facility by the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa.
According to the Senate President, an attack on the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre, could only have been possible with the collaboration of insiders within the nation’s correctional system.
He faulted the Nigerian Correctional Service for not providing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at the Kuje correctional facility and others across the country.
The Senate President asked the Comptroller General of the NCoS to include a request for the provision of CCTV across maximum and medium correctional centers across the country in the Service’s 2023 budget proposal to the National Assembly for approval.
Speaking after an assessment of the correctional facility, Lawan said, “the attack on this correctional facility is symptomatic of the failure of security failure. The attack is only a culmination of the failure.
“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.
“Secondly, having gone round the facility itself, we are dissappointed that this facility does not have Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) 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.
“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.
“Thirdly, going from one cell to another to release people, specifically, those that are known to be insurgents, tells a lot of story.
“It may not be far away from an insider job, someone who is either working in this place or must have worked here.
“I think we have to look deeper into what happened, so that we find the culprits, because when things like this happens, then there should be sanctions.
“Where people fail to do their job properly, and they have been given that responsibility, they should be asked to take responsibility.
“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.
Briefing the lawmakers earlier, the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Army Battalion in Gwagwalada, Lieutenant Colonel Adisa, told the Senate leadership that over 300 insurgents were behind Tuesday’s attack on the Kuje medium security custodial facility.
According to him, only a total of 50 security personnel were on ground when the terrorists armed with IEDs stormed the facility to release inmates from custody.