• Saturday, June 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Vetiva Capital boss’ death exposes security gaps in highbrow areas

Vetiva Capital boss’ death exposes security gaps in highbrow areas

This year’s Christmas will be missing the cheers in the home of Olaolu Mudashiru, who was co-founder and deputy managing director of one of Nigeria’s top capital management companies, Vetiva Capital, before he was killed along upscale Gerrard road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

He was riding a bicycle in his neighbourhood, alongside two other cyclists when a car rammed into them and the driver fled the scene. Mudashiru did not survive, after sustaining head injuries. He was only 54 years old. The two others survived with varying degrees of injuries.

Days after the incident, the driver has yet to be identified because despite living in Ikoyi, urbane and suave and with many of Nigeria’s elite, basic infrastructure like street cameras, properly marked roads and even street lights are either absent or poorly maintained when they exist.

When insecurity is discussed, the first thought for many is bandits running wild and shooting at people up North, but everyday living in Nigeria shows insecurity can meet you in your own home, follow you on a morning walk or tragically cut short a bike ride a few meters away from your home.

Living in Ikoyi, where rents are priced in dollars and property prices compete with those in Manhattan, where some of the best road network are found, with manicured lawns and a drainage system, that when compared to the mess that’s Lekki, seems like it wasn’t constructed by someone on crack, the least expectation is that you will ride your bike safely.

In an interview with BusinessDay, Confidence Isaiah-MacHarry, geopolitical security analyst at SBM Intelligence, said beyond personal home security, neighbourhood security must also be prioritised.

Speaking about how security of neighbourhoods can be improved, he said: “Neighbourhood protection starts and ends with effective policing or else, the law of vigilantism will prevail. To prevent such, gated communities can key into better relations with the local police in prompt responses during security breaches.

“Where the police is not forthcoming, radical approaches such as personal security tools have worked – heat sensors, automated locks, CCTV, etc. In cooperatives such as gated communities, this burden is shifted to the collective rather than the individual.”

In a recent ranking online, based on crime and safety, accessibility, quiet and peaceful domain, and ideal environment for families, Ikoyi was ranked one of the best neighbourhoods on the coveted Lagos Island, with great schools and plenty of choices to make a pick from – nursery through secondary.

Crime and safety rank favourably, and the quiet and peaceful feel of the place makes for just the ideal environment for families. Expatriates are often advised to pick Ikoyi for a choice of residence.

BusinessDay had earlier reported how the rising insecurity in Nigeria and weaknesses in the country’s security architecture had put a spotlight on the need to deploy Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in public places in line with international standards.

According to security analysts, Nigeria at this time must move away from the traditional model of securing its territory and bring in tested technologies that have been successfully deployed in advanced economies.

However, there have been numerous instances where there is footage from a crime or law violation scene, but there is no comprehensive database or facial recognition software to match the face of the perpetrators. From non-dispense errors at ATMs, to supermarket thefts, to robbing banks/organisations, the list is endless.

Experts say one of the factors ruining the effectiveness of CCTV cameras in Nigeria is the country’s inherent database problem.

Isaiah-MacHarry suggests that there should be greater harmonisation of the database of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) containing National Identity Numbers. “This should not be centralised and controlled only by the federal government. State governments should have access to it to enhance better service delivery,” he said.

Ali Isa Pantami, minister for digital economy, has said security agencies can now access the national database maintained by the NIMC but there are fewer than 100 million people captured, and bureaucratic bottlenecks still make the process ineffectual.

Security agencies are still incompetent at tracking the phone numbers of kidnappers demanding ransom, identify criminals caught in CCTV cameras and stop cyber criminals who clear customers deposits from bank accounts.

However, they have proven quite adept at tracking and targeting young people criticising the government online, calling for protests or insulting the first lady. The Lagos State government has the capability to remotely issue fines to private car owners without updated registration documents but cannot identify unlicensed commercial bus drivers who rob people on its roads.

Read also: Insecurity: Time to revisit failed $470m CCTV contract

Emerging details about Mudashiru’s life online show that before he co-founded Vetiva, he worked at Oando Plc, an asset resource and management company (a subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc) and Standard Trust Bank (now UBA Plc).

He was an investment banker with plenty experience in stockbroking, asset management and other aspects of investment banking activities. He had an MSc in international securities, investments and banking from the ICMA Centre of the University of Reading UK, an M.B;B.S. Degree from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria, and he is an alumnus of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

He was a leading member of the London Stock Exchange, an associate of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Nigeria and a member of the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria.

He was also a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship, which is granted to ‘mid-career high flyers’ globally by the British Government.

In a country that is hearmorraging talent, the incident shows more is needed to protect the ones that are making significant contributions to the economy. Indeed, for everyone in the country.

Some commentators online have tried to minimise the event as a routine occurrence all over the world, a regular hit and run. But in other parts of the world, street cameras identify the perpetrators and they are brought to book.

The Lagos State Police Command said it had begun a manhunt for the fleeing driver, though it doesn’t seem they have more to go on with.