Tag Archive : bandits

Bandits have killed 1,460 persons in 2019

The Nigerian Government on Thursday August 29, disclosed that 1,460 persons have been killed in 330 attacks by bandits across the nation in 2019.

The Permanent Secretary of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation’s office on Special Services, Amina Shamaki made the disclosure at the federal and states security administrators’ meeting in Kebbi state.

Shamaki said the north-west which was one of the most peaceful region before the bandit attacks, has remained a major source of concern even though the killings have been on the decline. 

“From January to July, 2019, about 330 attacks were recorded, resulting to the death of about 1,460 civilians,” NAN quoted her as saying.

“However, between June and July, 2019, the number of incidents declined, especially in Zamfara state, that had been the epicentre of armed banditry.”

The permanent secretary also attributed the decline to the combination of “kinetic and non-kinetic measures” introduced in recent months, including getting criminals to lay down their arms.

“Application of the carrot and stick approach is an effective strategy that enables criminals wiling to embrace peace to do so while repentant ones are identified and isolated for appropriate actions by the security agencies,” she added.

“Another security concern is the porosity of our borders; the borders aided smuggling of small arms and light weapons from war-torn zones, including Libya and Central Africa Republic, terrorism, cross- border crimes, human trafficking, irregular migration and smuggling of migrants, among others.

“The federal government is doing a lot to improve border security with a view to addressing some of these challenges.”

Photo of the catholic priest killed and set ablaze by armed bandits in Taraba

Rev. Father David Tanko pictured above, was ambushed and killed at Kufai Amadu in Takum local government area of Taraba state on Thursday August 29th.  

 

According to reports, the cleric was on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the lingering Tiv, Jukun crisis when he was killed.

 

Confirming the incident, the chairman of the council, Shiban Tikari disclosed that after killing Tanko, the attackers set him and his car on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

Bandits ambush and kill Catholic priest in Taraba State, sets him ablaze inside his vehicle

Barely 24 hours after gunman raided villages in Taraba State killing two people, some bandits have ambushed and killed a Catholic priest at Kufai Amadu in Takum local government area of the state.  

 

According to reports, the cleric was on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the lingering Tiv, Jukun crisis when he was killed. Confirming the incident, the chairman of the council, Shiban Tikari disclosed that after killing him, the attackers set fire him and his car on fire.

 

Tikari identified the deceased as Reverend Father David Tanko, who hails from Wukari local government area of the state. He alleged that the attack was carried out by Tiv militias.  He also blamed several other attacks that have claimed lives and property in southern Taraba on the Tiv militias, stressing that the reason for the attacks is still unknown.

Eliminate bandits anywhere you find them- President Buhari orders troops (video)

President Buhari today gave a marching order to troops in the North East to eliminate any bandit in sight and restore peace in the region.

 

The President gave the order when he addressed 15 officers and 160 soldiers of the 17th Army Brigade and Nigerian Air Force 213 Operational Base in Katsina, under the “Operation Hadarin Daji’’, at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Airport, Katsina.

 

In his wods

This group was formed by the military to secure the geo-political zone from the activities of bandits. Fundamentally, it is your responsibility to secure the country. As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I believe you are capable of doing it.

I don’t think you should spare any bandit. Identify and eliminate them. Pursue them anywhere you can find them and eliminate them. Nigeria deserves peace. The rainy season is good and we are already achieving food security, but we need peace. The money saved from food importation will be used to purchase arms for operations.”

‘We decided to kill 50 people for every slain herdsman’

Hassan Dantawaye, the commander of bandits who recently renounced violence following peace talks in Zamfara State has granted a no holds barred interview speaking on how they operated.

The bandits, who are Fulani herdsmen, had been engaged in killing, kidnapping and other crimes, which they blamed on cattle rustling and harassment by security agencies and local vigilance group. Dantawaye in this interview told MAIHARAJI ALTINE about the peace initiative and some of the atrocities they had committed

See excerpts of the interview below…

Q: You recently said your people were forced into a life of kidnapping, killing and other crimes because you were unjustly treated by the government and society, how were you treated unjustly?

A: Thank you so much for this question. We the Fulani have been facing serious challenges, both from the government and cattle rustlers, some of whom are our own people. I mean some bad eggs among us. Most of them are not even citizens of this country.

We were living peacefully about 10 years ago. There was nothing like cattle rustling or kidnapping let alone killings or destruction of innocent people’s properties. The only issue we had then was Fulani herders/farmers clashes and they were always addressed by community leaders of both the farmers and the Fulani.

Let me tell you the truth of the matter, cattle rustling was the genesis of armed banditry in this country. Many Fulani like me have lost their cattle to the rustlers. You know that the Fulani are neither farmers nor traders; they depend solely on the rearing of animals. So when cattle rustling started in our state in 2013, we did all we could to draw the attention of the government to the problem, to do something about it, but nothing was done to stop the menace. The government ignored our numerous complaints. So as time went on, most of us lost almost all of our animals, and as a result of that, many decided to also engage in cattle rustling to regain their lost animals and also sell some of the animals to buy food and other things.

As time went on, the government realised that cattle rustling was on the increase. So, the former governor, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari, quickly ordered that no cow should be sold or taken out of the state until it was certified that the person selling it or taking it outside was the genuine owner of the animal.

So that was when we started having serious problems. We have stolen cows but we had no money to buy food because we didn’t know how to sell the animals. One day, an idea came to us that since the kidnapping of people for ransom was being done in some parts of this country and people were making money from it, we should adopt that to get money for our needs. So you see, if the government had acted fast and arrested the issue of cattle rustling at the time we complained about it, we wouldn’t have been involved in these heinous activities.

Q: You said you also faced serious harassment and intimidation from security personnel and Yan Sakai (a local vigilance group), can you expatiate on your experience?

A: Of course, we faced serious harassment and intimidation from the security personnel and the vigilance group, a factor that further worsened the security situation in the state. The security agents, particularly the police, have been levying charges on our people. They had been collecting money from us unnecessarily simply because both the government and society consider every Fulani man as a criminal. When the ban on the sale of cattle was imposed by the state government, the police took advantage of that to extort money from even genuine Fulani people who own animals, whenever they see them. This issue seriously aggravated the insecurity problems in the state.

The vigilance group and Yan Sakai have also contributed to the insecurity issue considering their negative attitude towards the Fulani people. These two groups have turned themselves into groups that are licensed to kill. They killed any Fulani man they perceived as a bandit or cattle rustler and the government did not take any serious action to stop the menace. Many of our people were killed by these people. After realising that the government was not ready to stop the killing of our people by these two groups, we decided to pay back with reprisals. From that day, we decided to kill at least 50 people whenever one of us was killed.

Q: You mentioned cattle rustling, how many cows are you aware were rustled in the last one year, or example?

A: Nobody can answer this question but l can tell you that more than half of our people have lost their animals. Many of them have died of hypertension, while several others have turned to beggars as they have nothing left with them.

Q: What was your personal cattle rustling experience?

A: Believe me, I lost 372 cows and a large number of sheep. My family members have also lost many. In fact, that was my reason for leaving my village and moving to the forest as an alternative home and becoming a bandit, because I had nothing left to depend on.

Q: In the course of all that, did you share your concerns with the government before your people resorted to kidnapping and killing?

A: How many times do you want me to explain this? I told you that we did all we could to convince the government to come to our aid, particularly with regards to cattle rustling. The police had a bad attitude towards our people and there was the persistent killing of our people by the villagers and volunteer groups, but our appeals to the government fell on deaf ears.

Q: What specific response did you get?

A: Not much attention was given to our plight.

Q: How did you become the commander of the bandits?

A: I became the commander because of my total commitment to the plight of my people. They have respect for me because I am very sincere and committed to protecting their interest. I am always contacted by the present administration of Governor Bello Matawalle for any peace accord and whatever he says is accepted by the group.

Q: What do you do normally?

A: As to how?

Q: How do you discharge your duty as the leader of the bandits?

A: The issue is now over. We have embraced peace moves initiated by Governor Matawalle, as such; there is no need for me to tell you the mode of operations since the chapter is now closed.

 Q: Are you all Fulani herdsmen?

 A: Yes, the people under my command are all Fulani herdsmen. But I cannot say that all bandits are Fulani people because there are several instances where people from other tribes were arrested for banditry. There are many people arrested for banditry and when you look at their identities, you find out that some of them are not Fulani.

Q: How was the group formed? Did you all come together after identifying one another as victims of cattle rustling and so on?

A: You are very correct. The majority of those in our group are victims of armed banditry or other forms of intimidation by either the security personnel or vigilance group. But there are also others who only joined us to fight our enemies and also get something for their families.

Q: Did they undergo any training before they started kidnapping and killing?

A: No, they didn’t need any special training except only on how to operate AK 47 or other weapons. Once a person knew how to use a gun and fight his enemy, he had met our requirements. The kidnapping issue is not something one can be trained on. We normally had our targets. So we only sent our boys to go and kidnap this or that person. We also blocked some roads and kidnapped motorists.

Q: Many of you have surrendered weapons, guns and so on after renouncing, how many have been submitted to the government so far?

A: We surrendered some guns, but you know, the peace process is still ongoing. We are still studying the situation in order to ascertain the level of commitment and seriousness of the government before we finally surrender all of our weapons. Don’t forget that we had a similar peace accord with the past administration of former Governor Yari, when thousands of weapons were surrendered to the government. But at the end of the day, the peace accord failed to yield any positive result. But, I trust the current peace accord of the new governor, Alhaji Bello Matawalle. The governor is really serious; that is why we have released almost all those people we kidnapped in various places. We will soon surrender all the weapons in our possession.

Q: How do your people get the weapons?

A: This is top secret. I cannot disclose this for now but when the time comes, I will answer your question.

Q: Why did you see kidnapping and killing as the solution?

A: I told you earlier that we resorted to kidnapping because we were left with no option as the government at that time banned the sale of animals and we were almost out of cash to purchase food. Similarly, we resorted to killing in order to avenge the killing of our own people by the vigilance group and Yan Sakai.

Q: How many people were you involved in their kidnap?

A: They were many. I cannot precisely tell you their number.

Q: What about killing? Is that something you can talk about?

 No.

Q: How were the peace talks with the vigilantes initiated?

A: The peace talks were initiated by the state police commissioner, Alhaji Usman Nagogo, who invited all the stakeholders, that is the Fulani people, vigilance group and Yan Sakai to a meeting where every group was given a chance to voice their grievances. After a series of meetings, we all agreed that there was a need for all of us to forgive one another and embrace peace. We agreed to release the people we had abducted if the government could also release our people that had been imprisoned.

Governor Matawalle has not only accepted our request but has also promised to provide us with government assistance for us to live happily like our counterparts, the farmers. He has also proscribed the activities of the vigilance group and Yan Sakai.

Q: The public has also had problems with the way your herders also roam from place to place with their cattle, destroying farm crops and so on? Will you say that is fair?

A: I will not say that it is fair. You see, farmers depend on their farms to survive and the Fulani depend on their animals. So it is very unfair for the Fulani to destroy food crops. But sometimes we have no alternative because more than 80 per cent of grazing areas have now been encroached into by farmers. There used to be enough grazing lands demarcated by the government in those days mainly for cattle. They are called cattle routes. These lands have been taken over by farmers and the government did not bother much about it. So that is why we are having problems with those who have encroached into the cattle routes and grazing lands. If this issue is addressed by the government, I am telling you, the issue of destruction of crops will be over.

Q: Many of your kidnap victims are still in captivity; will you ensure the release of all these people following the peace initiative?

A: As far as I am concerned, nobody is currently being held captive in Zamfara State. We have released our captives and the government has also released our people arrested by security agents.

Q: But people are still being kidnapped, though the situation has gone down, what are you doing to ensure that killing and kidnapping stop totally?

A: We have not kidnapped anybody in one week as the government is doing its best to fulfil its promise. Nobody was kidnapped or killed during the Eid el Kabir festival. So there is relative peace in the state now.

Q: How do you pass the message of peace across to the various cells of bandits?

A: It is easy to communicate nowadays with mobile phones. So we communicate with our people through phone calls.

Q: What do you think is the solution to all the problems of insecurity in the country?

This is very simple. Justice is the solution to the problem of insecurity in Nigeria.

Q: What do you mean?

A: I mean everybody should be treated justly and with fairness. All Nigerians must be treated equally. The government should try as much as possible to make sure that the right of every Nigerian is adequately protected. If this is done, I assure you, the problem of insecurity would be adequately addressed.

Former Lagos Police Commissioner, Abubakar Tsav, says politicians are responsible for activities of bandits terrorizing the country

Abubakar Tsav, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State has said politicians are responsible for activities of bandits terrorising the country.

 

Tsav spoke on Tuesday, August 113th in Makurdi that banditry and most insecurities occurring in the country were created by politicians. He said most politicians knew exactly who the bandits were and why they were carrying out such activities.

“Banditry and insecurity are created by politicians and the politicians know who the bandits are. They know why these people are doing this. I want to appeal to our political class to have a change of heart and cooperate with security agencies to reduce criminality in the land.  “If the police are courageous enough to search houses and monitor activities of politicians, you will see what they will recover from them,” he said.

He said increased level of corruption and porous borders had also contributed to the ongoing security challenge as most arms were smuggled into the country through the borders. Tsav advised the Federal Government to embark on massive employment of security personnel as this would mop up most of the unemployed youths from the streets and reduce criminality in the country.  

 

According to him, security agencies, especially the police, lack manpower to handle the incessant security breaches in the country as most of the ones in the service were currently attached to politicians.

“In the police service, for instance, we have few policemen and most of them are attached to politicians. In fact, the government should reduce salary of the legislature to fund the new intake.  

“It is dangerous to attach a police officer to stay with a politician for more than two years because the moment they stay long with them they become very loyal to them instead of the Nigeria police force,” he said.

PhD student crushed to death by truck after he was forced at gun point by bandits to lay face down on Makurdi-Lafia road as barricade for vehicles

Dr. Joseph Imoter Ukpanya was crushed to death by a truck along the Makurdi-Lafia road last weekend.

 

According to reports, late Ukpanya, who was pursuing his PhD in History and War studies at the Nigerian Defence Academy, was on his way home from Jos, Plateau state, when he ran into a gang of armed robbers.

 

The robbers forced him at gunpoint to lay face down on the road as a barricade for vehicles. However, an oncoming speeding truck refused to stop and ran over him. He wrote his last Exam on July 16th, 2019.

 

Ukpanya was laid to rest on Thursday, August 8, in Gwer West local government area of Benue State after a wakekeep at his family compound, Adikpo Street, Ankpa Ward, Makurdi.
 

See tributes by friend and family below:

“Very very shocked when i received the news of  untimely and brutal death of this extremely good Youngman. I met Joseph Imoter when I was posted to Kaduna by my organisation. A very organised, cerebral and focused family man. He was pursuing his PhD in History and War studies at the Nigerian Defence Academy before he was crushed by a truck when he was forced at gun point by bandits on Makurdi-Lafiya road to remain on the road as a speeding truck approached. He could not buy his freedom. May God console his young wife and little children. Rest in peace,boki. Kai. This is very painful.”
 

“RIP Senior, Dr. Joseph Imoter. Those robbers will die a horrible death, Amen. You were forced to lie on the road as a barricade for vehicles by robbers (Lafia-Makurdi) and you were crushed. Hhhhhhhh my God.”

“While at Benue State University, Joseph Imoter Ukpanya, James Terngu Jillah,  Martins Mver Hanmaikyur and I, Tobias Utsaha formed a great bond; we had great dreams. Together we worked very hard to attain greatness. Joseph Ukpanya was called Maradona, due to his ability to seek quick solutions to series of issues confronting us. In terms of intellectual capacity, Maradona had an edge over us, as his abilities to address academic issues in history were miles ahead of us. Maradona nevermind getting himself into trouble just for the sake of saving his friends. Maradona sacrificed his happiness for others to be at peace. He really endured a lot for the sake of many. When he decided to get married in 2013, he made me his Best man. He was always fond of introducing  me to a lot of persons, not just as his friend, but also as his Best man. He once said to me ” Dada, you are a  part of me that can never be  forgotten.” I will tell you one thing about Maradona, Maradona was a damn good man. His death has created a vacuum in the lives of many, that can never be filled. Forever in my heart. Adieu Maradona.  May the Almighty God bless your soul. Amen.”

 

See more photos and posts below…

 

Bandits kill palace guard, abduct district head’s brother in Sokoto

An attack launched by bandits at the residence of a district head in Sokoto State left one person dead and another kidnapped as confirmed by the Police. 

 

The Sokoto State Police Command revealed that one Maude Salisu was arrested over the incident and also identified the killed palace guard as Usman Muhammadu. The state’s Commissioner of Police Ibrahim Kaoje told newsmen; 

 

“Armed men numbering about seven invaded the residence of the District Head of Gidan Bubu village in Wamakko LGA Sokoto, one Alhaji Muhammadu Gidado, shooting sporadically.

“They kidnapped Alhaji Sani Ardo, the younger brother of the district head; his wife, Hauwa’u Sani and one other were beaten and they dispossessed her of her Tecno GSM handset.” 

 

Mr Kaoje disclosed that the kidnapped district head’s brother was released after a N3m ransom was paid to the bandits. 

 

“During the course of investigation one Maude Salisu was arrested and the Tecno GSM handset belonging to Hauwa’u Sani with the sum of four hundred and seventeen thousand and thirty naira (N417, 030) suspected to be his share of the ransom was recovered in his possession,” Kaoje stated.

 

Maude confessed to the crime and is reportedly helping detectives in tracking his gang members. 

North-west governors grant amnesty to bandits

Bandits, cattle rustlers have been granted amnesty by governors in the north-west. This was disclosed by Aminu Masari, governor of Katsina state, who read a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day security and reconciliation meeting with security agents, vigilante, volunteer groups, herdsmen and farmers on Thursday in Katsina.  

 

Over the past few months, many lives have been lost in clashes between farmers and herders in the region. The governors agreed that in pursuit of peace, bandits should drop their weapons and no herdsman should be attacked.

“As from today, no vigilante group member or volunteers should attack or kill any herdsman, as sacrifice must be made by both sides to ensure peace reign. Herdsmen and their families should be allowed to go about their normal businesses, attend markets and worship places without molestation provided they don’t carry arms.

“Those bandits who rustled animals from communities should immediately return them to the government or Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association. Bandits should surrender their weapons and immediately release all those kidnapped and now under their custody. We are happy that we have seen some releases of kidnapped victims from Zamfara and other states” the communiqué read.

Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state who was in attendance, also added that the states would provide grazing reserve for the herders for them to settle in one place in the zone.  

 

“We are concerned that herders are always roaming around with their animals thereby exposing themselves to different kinds of hazards. The governors took a uniform measure, you should also take a uniform decision not to rustle animals, kidnap or kill anyone. You should immediately release all people in your custody in order to show the world that you have truly repented” he said.  

Lagos cattle sellers arrested for funding bandits in Zamfara

Four Lagos cattle sellers have been arrested by the police, for reportedly funding bandits in Zamfara State. 

The Lagos cattle sellers identified Alhaji Ago Atine, Alawani Abubakar, Mohammed Shagari and Bashiru Aliyu, reportedly funded bandits who attacked Tsafe, Zurmi, Shinkafi, Maradun, Maru and Brinin-Magaji local government areas of Zamfara state by allegedly buying stolen cows from them.

The suspects who were arrested in Agege area of Lagos, reportedly funded the bandits who on December 29, 2018, ambushed a team of soldiers on patrol along Doburu Forest in the Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamafra State, using rocket-propelled grenades on them.

The bandits who have killed many residents of the state,using the proceeds of the stolen cows to buy guns and other lethal weapons in Libya, also attacked a police anti-rustling team in the state, killing 15 members of the team.

Punch reported that the gang’s source of funds for procuring sophisticated weapons was recently revealed when operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team arrested its commander in Zurmi.

“Twin sisters, Hassana and Hussaina Bala, were kidnapped in October 2018 in Dauran Village, Zurmi Local Government Area. A ransom of N15m was paid before the girls were released, but one of the suspects arrested in connection with the kidnapping, Nafiu Usman, alias Baba Doctor, who happens to be the sub commander of a group of bandits operating in Zurmi, confessed that his boss, one Dankarimi, the overall commander in Zurmi, had been sourcing funds to procure arms and ammunition.

“The N15m ransom was shared among sub commanders working for Dankarimi. Usman said he got N500,000 as his share. He also confessed that his group ambushed and killed a team of soldiers on patrol at Doburu Forest. He confessed that he bought the weapons in Libya and identified one Alhaji Naira as the person who provided the funds they used in buying the arms. He said members of the gang rustled cows for Alhaji Naira, who brought them to Lagos for sale” a senior police officer said.

Usman reportedly led police operatives to arrest Alhaji Naira, who then mentioned the four cattle sellers at Abattoir as the receivers. It was also gathered that the four suspects, who are natives of Zamfara State, were reportedly arrested while selling some of the rustled cows to unsuspecting buyers.

50-year-old Atine who said he has bought over 400 cows from Alhaji Naira, stated thathe was not aware that the cows were stolen.

He said, “I have received over 400 cows from Alhaji Naira. I sold the cows at Abattoir. I sent the money to Alhaji Naira’s bank account after sales. I bought the cows from him at low prices. He sold each cow to me for between N60,000 and N70,000 and I sold each for between N170,000 and N180,000. I don’t know what Alhaji does with the money and I didn’t know that the cows were stolen.”

Armed bandits kill three Civilian JTF, religious leader, kidnap 3 women in Zamfara

Armed bandits who stormed Dogon village of Tsafe Local Government Area, and Birnin Yero of Shinkafi local authority of Zamfara State on Sunday, killed three Civilian JTF, religious leader and 6 others and also kidnapped 3 women.

The armed bandits who were said to be about 10 men, stormed the villages and began to shoot sporadically in every direction which led to the death of nine people. The gunmen who also rushed into the mosque in the village and killed one religious leader, Mallam Ibrahim Dan Kurya, who was offering his prayers, searched his pockets and took his handset which they used in calling his son, telling him that his father had been killed and that he should go and take him away for burial.

The village has long been deserted as the villagers fear the armed bandits might return. Spokesperson for Zamfara State Police Command, SP Shehu Mohammed, who confirmed the incident told newsmen that armed policemen had been dispatched to the area to arrest the armed bandits and prosecute them for their notorious activity.

3 civilian JTF and three House wives of former vice chairman of Shinkafi local government malan Bello Muhammad B/Yaro, of Zamfara state were also kidnapped in a similar attack which took place in Birnin Yero village, Shinkafi Local government.

National Assembly CCTV down as bandits loot journalists’ cars

The break-down of the National Assembly CCTV has given bandits the full control of the Assembly premises to vandalize cars and steal batteries of cars parked within the premises, Sunday Punch  authoritatively reports.

National Assembly CCTV down as bandits loot journalists’ cars

READ THE REPORT BELOW:

Several cars have been vandalised in recent times, including that of our correspondent.

Our correspondent had parked his Honda CR-V car at a park close to the Annex building at about 11.30am but discovered at about 6pm that its battery had been stolen, with the bonnet left half opened.

The incident was reported at the Crime Office of the National Assembly Division of the Nigeria Police on Thursday morning, where our correspondent was told that several similar cases of vandalism and theft had been reported at the unit.

In spite of lodging the complaint, none of the officers on duty requested our correspondent to lead them to the vehicle for inspection.

Several National Assembly workers and journalists, who spoke on the issue, lamented the security lapses in and around the complex.

A victim, Mr Okechukwu Jombo, who is a reporter with the Nigerian Pilot, said his car’s battery was stolen on the premises earlier in the year.

“They did it to me too early this year, around March. I parked at the main park behind the building. There is a cameraman at the House of Representatives, they took his own too. We were many during that period. It was a very rampant thing,” he said.

Another victim, Mr Mudashiru Atanda, a photojournalist with The SUN, narrating his ordeal, said, “It was a Friday; I had parked inside at the car park behind the main building. When it was time to go to the mosque for the Juma’at prayer, I entered into the car, thinking I would have a smooth ride to the mosque. As I got close to the car, I saw that the bonnet was not firmly locked. I thought I did not lock it well. I lifted it with the intention of locking it only to discover that the battery had been stolen.”

Atanda lamented that no arrests had been made since the incident occurred in 2016.

Another photojournalist with THISDAY, Mr Julius Atoi, said his Honda Accord car was broken into at the first car park close to the second security gate while the National Assembly was on an annual recess between July and October.

Narrating a similar experience with our correspondent on Friday, Mr Ezekiel Dike, a cameraman with the Nigerian Television Authority, said the battery of his Honda Accord was stolen from the car in September 2017 at the same car park.

He said, “I reported (the theft). I went to the police station on the premises. They asked if I suspected anybody. I said I could not have suspected anybody when I was covering the plenary at the chamber. They did not follow the matter up. Each time I went there, they did not give me attention. So, I let go.

“We were about three whose car batteries were stolen that same day. There was a man (victim) who came for a public hearing; he came in a Ford SUV.”

Our correspondent observed that security men at the gates did not inspect cars going into the complex but only demanded personal identities, especially of persons not known to them.

It was further observed that no checks were conducted on cars leaving the premises.

At the general car park outside the second gate, it was observed that while a pass was issued to every car going in, the security men closed much early, allowing some car owners to go away with the pass as there was no one to take it from them.

Several users of the park, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH, warned that any pass not retrieved could be used to steal cars from the park.

A security operative blamed the lapses on the malfunctioning Closed Circuit Television cameras around the parks, adding that several cases had been reported but nobody had been arrested.

The security man, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We have been receiving such complaints.

“If the CCTVs are functioning, it is just to play back the tape and see the thief. That is one major problem that we have. The CCTVs are not working.”

A senior police officer, deployed in the National Assembly, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, lamented that efforts to get the National Assembly leadership to fix the CCTVs in and around the complex had failed.

The Sergeant-at-Arms of the National Assembly, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Sani (retd.), could not be reached as several calls made to his telephone line on Friday were not returned.

Sani had yet to reply a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report on Saturday.

When contacted on the incidents, the Divisional Police Officer, National Assembly Complex, Mr Abdullahi Sambo, a Superintendent of Police, referred our correspondent to the Police Public Relations Officer, Federal Capital Territory Command.

The PPRO, Mr Anjuguri Manzah, who was asked what was being done to address the ugly development, said, “I can’t answer you now…you have to give me time to speak with him (Sambo) first.”

Nigerians were shocked on April 18, 2018, when unknown men in a convoy of cars and pick-up vans stormed the Senate chamber while plenary was ongoing, snatched the mace and made away with it.

The legislature’s symbol of authority was only recovered several kilometres away, according to the police, where the invaders dumped it.