The Senate has directed the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) to make provision for Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all correctional centres in its 2023 budget to tackle reoccurring attacks in the country.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan said this on Thursday after an assessment visit to the Medium Security Custodial Centre Kuje, following Tuesday’s attack that led to the escape of about 800 inmates.
Lawan expressed shock over none functional CCTV at the facility and described the attack as disappointing and a sign of failure of the security system.
“An attack on the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre, can only have been possible with the collaboration of insiders within the nation’s correctional system.
“The attack on this correctional facility is symptomatic of the failure of security architecture. The attack is only a culmination of the failure.
“We were told that an estimated 300 suspected 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,” Lawan said.
He added, “Secondly, having gone round the facility itself, we are disappointed that this facility does not have 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 centres across the country do not have CCTV.
“We have asked the Comptroller General of Correctional Service 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.” Lawan tasked the security agencies to ensure that the inmates who escaped from the center were brought back.
Speaking earlier, the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Army Battalion in Gwagwalada, Lt. Col. Adisa, told the Senate leadership that over 300 suspected insurgents attacked on the facility on Tuesday.
“Only a total of 50 security personnel were on ground when they came armed with Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and other weapons,” he said.