By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
Senate yesterday raised the alarm over rising cases of burglary into the offices of senators and vandalisation of valuables, including cars in the parliament, vowing to logically investigate the incidents and collapse of the Closed Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) in the National Assembly premises.
These were the fallout of debate on the recent break-in to the office of the senator representing Lagos Central, Oluremi Tinubu, and an honorable member in the House of Representatives, Hon. Muhammed Gausu Boyi representing Ringim / Taura federal constituency from Jigawa state.
Speaking after senator Tinubu brought the matter before the senate, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, who presided over the plenary, said recalled also that a member had reported how his car was vandalized and the money left in the car stolen from the car he parked in the National Assembly.
Ekwerenmadu regretted that after the case was reported to the National Assembly security, they checked the footages of the CCTV cameras in the complex only to find out that they were all not working. To this end, he said expressed concerns that after huge sums of public funds are invested in the provision of the CCTV, when the need to use them arises, they will become useless meaning that public funds have been waisted.
He however pointed out that the senate will not replace the stolen items in the office of the senator until the investigations have been completed to ascertain the rationale behind the burglary.
To this end, he called on the management of the National Assembly to be up and doing in their responsibilities. He said the issue is already being investigated and that the senate will come out with a true picture of what happened.
Earlier, the senator representing Lagos Central, Oluremi Tinubu, who raised point of order 43 on personal explanation, brought the attention of the senate to the vandalism of her office by unknown men.
She said the burglars carted away law reform books and some electronics in her office, even as she raised concern that she is no longer comfortable in her office, especially given that such buglers did not take anything meaningful, in as much as it is happening during election time.
She however asked the senate to replace the carted items and investigate the incident thoroughly to unravel the rationale behind such criminal act.
Recall that the media had before now reported the rising incidences of vandalism in the premises of the National Assembly, where cars and car batteries of staff and journalists were stolen, which were all reported to security post in the parliament yet nobody has been apprehended.
Senator Tinubu, in a statement issued regarding the burglary in her office by her legislative aide, Nifemi Aje, disclosed that an HP laptop computer, Smile internet device, some copies of Laws of the Federation, machine box attached to the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) etc, were stolen by the yet to be identified thieves.
Hon Boyi in a letter of notification addressed to the Sergeant at Arms, Brigadier -Gen Mohammed Sani, reported that his office was emptied by the thieves.
According to him in the letter dated 10th January, 2019, missing from his office after the burglary were 2 Samsung Plasma Television sets, 2 HP photocopy machines, 1 water dispenser, 1 Samsung Refrigerator and a Printer Machine.
The federal lawmaker explained in the personally signed letter that his office Assistance, Abba Yusuf, discovered the burglary incidence in the early hours of Thursday 10th January 2019 when he reported for work.
He added in the letter that similar report has also been made to the office of the Divisional Police Officer ( DPO) in NASS for the required prompt action.
Tinubu in her own statement also disclosed that report of the theft has been lodged at the National Assembly Police Post for appropriate investigation of the incident.
She added that traces of footsteps of the thieves were discovered on the office rug, even as the wall cabinet was left disorganised.
A similar report on burglary was also made to both the Sergeant At Arms and NASS DPO’s office by Hon Muazu Lawal (APC Zamfara) whose office was burgled in December last year.
Confirming the ugly trend yesterday in his office, the NASS DPO, SP Umar Sambo, said reports to that effects have been received by him and investigations into the acts are already going on.
The Sergeant At Arms on his own part refused to entertain questions on the rising wave of burglary in NASS, saying he was not in position to speak to the press over the matter but directed journalists to the Office of the Director of Information, who could not be reached.