Senate Invasion: NASS DPO Alleges Internal Conspiracy
The Divisional Police Officer in in charge of National Assembly, Mr. Abdulahi Sulu-Gambari has said that the security architecture of the premises was compromised during the April 18 invation by touts who snatched the mace from the Senate Chamber. This is just as he alleged that the Sergeant-at-Arms to the National Assembly, Mr. Brighton Danwalex and the former Senate Leader, Sen. Ali Ndume instructed the men assigned to protect the mace not to touch it during the invasion. Danwalex however admitted that it was wrong for them to take orders from Ndume. Sulu-Gambari, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) while explaining his role before a joint ad hoc committee of the National Assembly, investigating the invasion, alleged there was an internal conspiracy and collaboration of familiar persons with the thugs. Although the DPO did not mention names, he insisted that the attack was carried out with the assistance of some security agencies and some of the lawmakers. According to him, there was a diversionary tactics by some persons who staged a protest at the National Assembly gate to overwhelm the security. He also said that there was an intelligence report that there was a plan to disrupt Senate activities on 16 April. “There should be a synergy between security agencies and the lawmakers but in this case the attack came from the roof as the senators are not helping security matters. On April 16, there was an earlier hint that a group planned to invade the National Assembly and disrupt activities, which called for a build-up of security with two units of mobile police mobilised to the complex. However on April 18, at about 10; 11 am, my attention was drawn to a group protesting at the gate, while I moved to address the group I was informed that some people were running away with the Mace,” stated. Sulu-Gambari said he later realised that the protest was a diversionary measure. “It was later that I observed that the protest was a diversionary attention to move me out and that the protesters were same group with those that attacked,’’ he stated. He however explained that six persons were arrested and handed over to police authority. “I signalled all the entry points that nobody drives in or out but three men approached me identifying themselves as security operatives and requested to be allowed to go. The strain of blood on their clothes made me become suspicious and I ordered they be arrested. In all six people were arrested same day and handed over to the force headquarters alongside charms recovered from them. In addition an unmarked Prado jeep and a Toyota Hilux were impounded and they are with the police. When asked if there was a communication from the sergeant -at-arms on the attack, the DPO said that there was no form of communication during the invasion by the thugs. Meanwhile, the Sergeant-at-Arms, Danwalex explained that his department is faced with challenges of operational logistics. He also said that some legislators do not subject themselves to security checks, thereby compromise the security system. “Security men are having challenges with some legislators because they don’t want to follow checks,’’ he said. Danwalex noted that the management of the National Assembly was aware of the operational logistic challenges and had promised to address it. According to him, the security men were overpowered due to lack of non-functional security gadgets to enhance operational capacity. “There is no functional walkie-talkie; we would have alerted all the exit points. The CCTV is not functional and there is only one operational patrol vehicle and the entrance into the white house requires biometric doors,’’ he said. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Bala ibn N’allah requested the Police to furnish it with copy of station diary where entry of the crime was made.