Nigeria: Senate Raises Alarm Over Security Lapses in National Assembly

18 January 2019

Abuja — The Senate has raised alarm over unsettling security defects in the National Assembly (NASS) and urged its management to urgently strengthen security arrangement to avoid further attacks.It gave the charge while adopting a motion sponsored by representative of Lagos Central senatorial district, Oluremi Tinubu, who officially reported a burglary case in her office to the Senate.

The burglary incident was first reported in a statement issued by her legislative aide, Nifemi Aje, who said it was discovered on Wednesday, January 9, as staff members resumed work. Tinubu in a motion yesterday said she no longer feels safe in her office after the experience and urged the Senate to investigate the burglary and demanded the replacement of her lost items.

"I want to report an incident that happened in my office, while we were on Christmas break. The Senate is aware that we closed for the break on Thursday, December 21, 2018.

"However, my office had been closed from December 7, 2018, as I had constituency engagements and town hall meetings within the period."On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, my staff, upon resumption, noticed some anomalies in the organisation and office set up, which prompted an inspection," she said.She said the burglars carted away HP laptop computer, CCTV camera box, one Smile Internet device and copies of laws of the federation, adding added that the incident was reported at the National Assembly's Police Post.

While expressing fear of insecurity in the office given that the general elections are close, Tinubu demanded a probe and replacement of the items, including volumes one to 14 of the federation's laws.However, the Senate referred the issue to management of the National Assembly to report through the Committee on Senate Services.

Responding, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary, condemned security flaws in the National Assembly."I don't think it is an isolated case. A former colleague came to do a transaction in the National Assembly. He left his car and when he came back, the car was vandalised and money stolen. He parked the car close to one of the buildings and he thought it was easy to detect.

"He reported to the management and they tried to look at the CCTV, but it was not functioning. It is an embarrassment for all of us. I want to appeal to the management to live up to their expectations. We cannot be talking about replacing the books until they conclude investigations," he said.

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