BY VICTORIA IKEANO
The Nasarawa state Police headed by the Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe has burst a syndicate of highly connected individuals vandalizing railway tracks that traverse the state, a crime classified as economic sabotage. Among those nabbed are staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, policemen, a personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, the special adviser to the Nasarawa State governor on infrastructure and the Chinese manager of Yong Xing Steel Company, Abuja who received the stolen items. Giving details of its operations on Thursday in Lafia, the state capital, CP Longe disclosed:
“Based on information at the disposal of the Nasarawa State Police Command from multiple sources, which all indicated that, criminal elements have turned the Nigerian railway tracks that traverse some major cities and villages in Nasarawa State en route to Benue state to gold mines where they vandalise and cart away rail tracks/slippers, the State Police command developed a strategic anti-vandalism template to arrest the tide of this unwholesome scenario. It is gratifying to note that, this template paid off on 16/5/2021 at about 0130hrs and 24/5/2021 at about 0300hrs respectively when police operatives swooped on the vandals at their theatre of operation while vandalising and carting away railway tracks/slippers along Agyaragu Tofa in Lafia local government area and Angwan Alago of Kadarko district in Keana local government area.
“The following suspects were arrested at the crime scenes: Samuel Asoloko – a personnel of the Nigerian Legion, Aliyu Abdullahi Dan Amana, Abdul Qayyumu Abubakar, Inspector Richard Joseph attached to State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia, Sergeant Mali Peter attached to State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia, Ibrahim Amegwa Usman – a personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps attached to Arm Squad, NSCDC’s, Command Headquarters, Lafia.
“Furthermore, extensive investigation into this case led to the arrest of eleven additional suspects, namely: Jubrin Ibrahim Hayas, Yusuf Abubakar Musa A.K.A Yusuf Mada – Special Adviser to the Governor of Nasarawa State on Infrastructure, Mohammed Isiaka – Former supervisory councillor on education, Nasarawa Eggon local government area, Mr. Marra Thai – a Chinese national and the Manager of Yong Xing Steel Company, Tunga Maje, FCT Abuja (criminal receiver), Jacob Terlumun Emmanuel – Procurement Officer of the Chinese Company, Samuel Shagbaor – a staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the Principal Technical Officer covering Agyaragu, Lafia and its suburbs, Umaru Dauda, Yusuf Ahmed, Abubakar Nuhu Owners of the trailer who offered N160, 000.00 bribe to secure the release of the trailer, Mohammed Abdullahi, Nathaniel Oba 48yrs – Principal Partner Nathoba & CO a law chamber in Benin city and the legal adviser to Yong Xing Steel Company Nigeria Limited offered six hundred thousand naira cash to bribe the investigating team of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit to secure the release of his client”.
The Nasarawa state police boss listed the exhibits recovered as, “one Falker Mercedes Benz Truck with registration number LFA 636 ZX loaded with vandalised rail tracks/slippers. One DAF with registration number T-1726 LA trailer loaded with vandalised rail tracks/slippers. Sum of one hundred and sixty thousand naira (N160,000) offered as bribe to secure the release of the vehicle. Two white Peugeot J5 buses – one of which is ladened with vandalised rail tracks with registration number XU 790 Enu Enugu and QAP 654 XA respectively”.
He continued, “It needs to be emphasised here that, preliminary investigation into these cases so far, have revealed that, it is a grand conspiracy involving high net worth individuals who act as sponsors and drivers of various syndicates which specialise in vandalising Nigerian railway tracks/slippers in different parts of Nasarawa State notably: Gudi-Lafia-Akeleku-Makurdi railway line.
“This is a classic case of sabotage being perpetrated by unpatriotic Nigerians including some personnel of security agencies who are employed by the Nigerian state to protect lives and property. This criminal circus is sustained and kept alive by companies who process steel/iron scraps and mostly owned by foreign nationals who make wrongful gains at the expense of the national interest”.
He added that investigation into this case was still ongoing at State Criminal Department, Lafia. The Nasarawa state Police Commissioner outlined the command’s achievements in the fight against kidnapping, armed robbery, theft and other crimes.
The Police command thanked the government, traditional rulers and law abiding citizens of the state for their “enormous support and firm belief in collective security”. “Their collaboration is really working and assisting the Police in the state to discharge its constitutional mandate efficiently. To this end, we are calling on them to sustain this trend and always count on us to give all and sundry the much desired security, while also reassuring the people that, we will not be complacent or rest on our oars as we trudge forward to neutralize operations of these societal outlaws”, CP Longe remarked.
He promised that the command would continue to discharge its duties without fear or favour. “We will not shield anyone, no matter the status, including our own personnel caught perpetrating any criminal act or activity antithetical to his/her constitutional calling, from facing the wrath of the law”. He concluded by appealing to members of the public to continue to avail the command with credible information, assuring that “every credible information relayed to us will be diligently worked on and also treated with utmost confidentiality”.