Terrorism

Kuje Jailbreak: Senate President Visits Facility, Laments Security Failure, Insider Complicity 

Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting

PRESIDENT of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says there are indications that the Tuesday’s attack on the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre by terrorists is as a result of security failure and insider complicity.

Lawan handed the verdict on Thursday when he led a delegation of the leadership of the Senate on an on-the-spot-assessment of the level of attack on the correctional facility by insurgents.

Stonix News reports that the Ansaru Islamic terrorists had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack after they successfully made away 64 of their members holed in the facility.

Lawmakers on the Senate delegation, which also had some members of the Committee on National Security and Intelligence, were conducted round the facility by the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa.

Lawan bluntly averred that the attack on the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre could not have been possible without the collaboration of insiders within the nation’s correctional system.

He faulted the Nigeria Correctional Service for not providing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) at the Kuje facility and others across the country.

The Senate President asked the Comptroller-General of the NCS to include a request for the provision of CCTV across maximum and medium correctional centres across the country in its 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, 300 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 disappointed 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 centre. How on earth in the FCT facility of this magnitude is it that we don’t have CCTV? It means we can say that all other medium security centres 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 is 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 happen, 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.”

He, therefore, tasked the security agencies to ensure that the terrorists, who escaped from the Kuje custodial centre are found and brought back.

Earlier, the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Army Battalion in Gwagwalada, Lieutenant Colonel Adisa, had told the Senate leadership that over 300 insurgents were behind Tuesday’s attack.

According to him, only a total of 50 security personnel were on ground when the terrorists, armed with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), stormed the facility to free the terrorists.

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