Thirteen suspected railway vandals have been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), with large quantities of long rails and sleepers worth N800 million Naira.
Announcing the arrest via a communique, by the Public Relations Officer, (PRO/, of the Corps’, Babawale Afolabi, the agency said the suspects were paraded alongside five trucks conveying the large quantities of vandalized rails and sleepers at the NSCDC headquarters, Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement notes that the suspects were arrested around the Manchock area of Kaura Local Government, (LGA), Zonkwa in Zango Kataf LGA, and Kafanchan area in Jama’a LGA of Kaduna State.
“The 13 suspects and 5 trucks impounded have been taken into custody for profiling and further investigation and prosecution.
“The 13 suspects are still being interrogated and cross-examined after which other accomplices will be arrested and charged to court,” he said.
The statement contains that the vandals attempted to bride personnel of the service by offering them a large amount of money which was rejected.
“When they were apprehended the Commander of the squad was offered the sum of N30 million which was rejected,” he said.
The agency frowned at the yet-to-be-identified iron and steel companies who always process and melt these vandalized rail track irons and sleepers.
“Efforts are in top gear to smash and unmask these syndicates and make them face the wrath of the law no matter how highly or lowly placed,”
One of the suspects said that he was given N200,000 advance payment at which he gave N100,000 to the agent who contacted him for the job.
Meanwhile, Federal Railway Corporation, North Central District Manager, Mr Austin Ashibekong said that the arrests were made within his jurisdiction.
“I want to confirm to you that these are vandalized long railways that had been cut into pieces and everywhere in the North-Central district is experiencing a surge in vandalization of track materials.
“They vandalize the long rails, the sleepers, android clips, and other railway components which has been a major hurt in our management,” he said.
According to Ashibekong, these materials run to hundreds of millions, bearing in mind that no railway material can be sourced locally.
“Even the nuts can not be sourced locally and all these costs the Federal Government a great deal and somebody will come overnight to vandalise them for selfish and personal interest.
He further commended the efforts of the NSCDC in curbing such crimes as he called for continuous partnership.
“ We welcome any other security agency that will join in this fight so that we try as much as possible to curb the vandalization that has surged in recent years.
“This team set up by the CG is a laudable achievement and we are out here to support them, the Apex management of the Corporation is happy to see these arrests being carried out.
“We should come out to support these exercises, the efforts and encourage the management of the corps to further empower personnel,” he said.
Source: The Guardian