By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested 13 suspected railway vandals with large quantities of long rails and sleepers worth N800 million Naira.
The suspects were paraded alongside five trucks conveying the large quantities of vandalised rails and sleepers at the NSCDC Headquarters, Abuja on Tuesday.
The NSCDC National Public Relations, Babawale Afolabi, during the parade said that the suspects were arrested by the Commandant General’s Special Intelligence Squad (CGs SIS).
Afolabi said that the arrests took place around Manchock area of Kaura LGA, Zonkwa area in Zango Kataf LGA, and Kaffanchan 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.
He disclosed that upon arrest, the CGs SIS were offered a huge sum but they refused to accept the proposed bribe.
“When they were apprehended the Commander of the squad was offered the sum of N30million which was rejected,” he said.
According to the PRO, the NSCDC Commandant General (CG),Dr.Ahmed Abubakar Audi mni,OFR has decried the continous activities of vandalism across the country by economic saboteurs and their accomplices.
He frowned at the yet to be identified iron and steel companies who always process and melt these vandalized rail track iron and sleepers.
“Efforts are in top gear to smash and unmask these syndicates and make them to face the wrath of the law no matter how highly or lowly placed,” he said.
He said that while interviewing one of the truck drivers, name withheld, he said that he was offered N1.2million upon delivery of the stolen items to Ilorin.
The suspect said that he was however given N200,000 advance payment which at which he gave N100,000 to the agent who contacted him for the job.
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 vandalised long railways that had been cut into pieces and everywhere in the North-Central district is experiencing surge in vandalisation 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.