Thugs break into NIRA offices, steal National IDs, equipment

NIRA officials at work in Kololo. Courtesy Photo

Kitgum, Uganda | URN | Unknown thugs have broken into Orom sub-county headquarters in Kitgum district and disappeared several National Identity Cards [IDs] and equipment belonging to the National Identification and Registration Authority [NIRA].    

NIRA field staff reported for work this morning only to find their offices wide open and the equipment missing. Nancy Adyero, the Kitgum district NIRA registration officer has declined to comment on the incident. 

Orom sub-county LC III chairperson, Qurino Olum, says the thugs broke into the production department offices where NIRA often charges its equipment.

He says the thugs made off with an unspecified number of National Identity Cards, a laptop, an external battery and charger that were being used in the ongoing distribution of the IDs. 

He says the matter has been reported at Kitgum Central Police Station for investigation. NIRA field staff identified as Samuel Baker Okello and the officer in charge of Orom police outpost, Sgt. Tom Okello have recorded statements. According to Olum, Jimmy Akena, a Social Welfare Officer attached to the sub-county has been arrested as a prime suspect. 

He was tracked down by sniffer dogs that led police investigators to his residence at the sub-county staff quarters. Olum expressed concern over insecurity, saying the incident is the second of its kind. In the first robbery, thugs allegedly broke into the Senior Assistant Secretary’s offices and stole a laptop and other electronic appliances. 

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Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, William Komakech, has decried the incident as a big loss and setback to the mass National ID distribution exercise that had just been extended to the sub-county level prior.  

Komakech has called for thorough investigations into the matter and called on members of the public to provide information regarding the burglary to pass it in confidence to the police to ensure the thugs are arrested and brought to book.