No functional walkie-talkie, CCTV camera at National Assembly — reveals sergeant-at-arms
Brighton Danwalex, the sergeant-at-arms to the National Assembly, has revealed, following the successful stealing of the mace at the Red Chamber in April, that certain gadgets available to the security operatives are either not sufficient or non-functional.
He explained on Wednesday that security men at the National Assembly were easily overpowered during the incident as a result of the lack of equipment, such as patrol vehicles, walkie-talkies and biometric doors, necessary to reinforce operational capacity.
“There is no functional walkie-talkie,” he lamented. “We would have alerted all the exit points. The CCTV is not functioning and there is only one operational patrol vehicle and the entrance into the white house requires biometric doors.”
Danwalex also said the report of the investigation into the theft showed that Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, had instructed men assigned to protect the mace not to touch it during the invasion.
“Security men are having challenges with some legislators because they don’t want to follow checks. Some will come with 5 vehicles and ask the security to allow them to pass,’’ he added.
Sulu-Gambari Abdul, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the police post at the national assembly, also blamed the incident on a conspiracy among some lawmakers and security agents.
“There should be cooperation between security agencies and the lawmakers but in this case, the attack came from the roof as the senators are not helping security matters,” he said.
Meanwhile, the sum of N1.25 billion was budgeted for the purchase of security equipment by the Senate in the proposed 2017 national assembly budget. Additionally, N440 million was allocated for the same purpose under capital expenditure for the national assembly office.