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CCTV Few Meters From The Emab Blast Scene Not Functioning

Where are the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras that purportedly gulped $470 million in the Federal Capital Territory? Questions about their existence and effectiveness within Abuja are being asked, as bombing of the capital city at will by Boko Haram insurgents has not abated.
Security experts and residents have at different times tagged the project dead on arrival and expressed doubts that the cameras ever worked. In several reports done by LEADERSHIP, the federal government had been called to question over the functionality of the cameras.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had recently granted an ex-parte application, seeking an order of mandamus to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the controversial contract awarded to Chinese company, ZTE Corporation by the federal government.
It was also reported recently that the presidency following the failure of the CCTVs to contribute in the fight against insurgency had turned down a request by the Ministry of Police Affairs to pay additional N3billion to the contractor handling the project.

LEADERSHIP findings following the blast that rocked the EMAB Plaza in Wuse II on Wednesday afternoon, which left at least 24 people dead, show that if truly the CCTVs existed around the busy shopping complex, the suspected bombers would have been identified by now.
A senior police officer who spoke under condition of anonymity told LEADERSHIP weekend that only a few of the CCTV cameras are currently working. The reason for the breakdown of the cameras, according to him, includes lack of maintenance as well as power failure. “The truth is that some of them are not working. Definitely, not all of them can work. Some were faulty from day one. Others may suffer power failure. Moreover, not all parts of Abuja, even within the metropolis, are covered,” the source said.

The officer also pointed out that the terrorists always try to avoid areas where there are visible CCTVs. “Terrorists are very intelligent crooks. When they want to select their target, they select places where the eyes of the camera will not come. That’s where you hear things like CCTV cameras serving as deterrent. If they want to strike in Abuja I’m sure they will select their target away from the CCTVs,” the officer said.
Also, the coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr Mike Omeri, while giving an update on the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls and the fight against insurgency, collaborated LEADERSHIP findings when he revealed that the FCT lacked adequate CCTV to monitor activities in the metropolis and called on private organisations and public-spirited individuals to install the CCTV in their premises.

“The minister of FCT has said they are working. He said they are working on improving them. CCTV is not everywhere in the city; that is why we are calling on citizens to install CCTV and that is one way they can contribute to the fight against terrorism,” Omeri said.
he coordinator, who is also the director-general of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, said the situation in the country demanded that everyone cooperate with the security agencies to rid the country of insurgents. He said though the CCTV cameras within the city are working, they are not in some parts of the city.

Experts express doubts over the functionality of Abuja CCTV
Meanwhile, security experts have expressed doubts over the operations of the several CCTV cameras installed in Abuja. Some of them who spoke to LEADERSHIP Weekend yesterday doubted the functionality of the CCTV in the capital city.
A former director of State Security Service (SSS), Mr Mike Ejiofor, was of the view that most of those installed in Abuja are not functioning.

“From what we have seen, I doubt if the installed cameras are really working. We had up to three bombings now and we have not been told of any outcome from investigations from the cameras. When incidents like this happens, the cameras are supposed to pick up people who are involved in the crime but, so far, I don’t know whether we have that facility or the existing ones are really functioning,” he said.

Also, a former commissioner of police in the FCT, Mr Lawrence Alobi, while responding to LEADERSHIP Weekend, said the importance of CCTV camera cannot be overemphasised in combating crimes. The ex-police boss questioned the sincerity of those who handled the installation of CCTV in Abuja.

“The CCTV in Abuja, how functional are they? Who awarded the contracts? Are they functioning? Where are they located? How effective are they? What has been achieved from them and when were they installed? Are they CCTVs being maintained? These are the questions we should be asking,” he said.
He also urged the federal government to come up with a policy of making all offices, businesses both public and private install CCTV cameras to check crimes in the country. He reminded all that the terrorists who bombed Boston in the United Stated were apprehended through a CCTV installed in a private restaurant.
“If it can be replicated in Nigeria, it will go a long way in helping us to checkmate insurgency in Nigeria,” Alobi said.