The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), FCT Command, has arrested 15 persons over alleged telecommunications cable theft, vandalism of critical infrastructure and other offences.
This is contained in a statement by the command’s Public Relations Officer, ASC1 Comfort Okomanyi, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Okomanyi said that the NSCDC FCT Commandant, Olusola Odumosu, stated this during the parade of the suspects on Tuesday in Abuja
She quoted Odumosu as describing the arrest as part of the ongoing process by the command to sanitise the country’s capital.
The commandant said that the suspects were arrested in different parts of the FCT during a scaled-up routine night operation.
Odumosu said that the suspects were arrested for alleged offences such as vandalism of public property, stealing, and snatching of bags and phones under the guise of scavenging.
The commandant listed the items recovered from the suspects to include iron rods, one Lexus ES 330 vehicle used in conveying stolen items, vandalised transmission cables, climbing belt.
Other items are: hammer, screw driver, three measuring tapes, four spanners, compass, helmet, three reflective jackets, hacksaw, sets of ladies earrings, bags, one cart and one pumping machine.
He said that after the completion of investigations by the command, the suspects would be prosecuted in court.
The commandant decried criminal elements engaged in degradation of critical assets and public utilities, thereby causing potential risks to public safety.
“The act of vandalism is not only a crime, but also endangers the reliable functioning of critical infrastructure.
“Critical infrastructures are vital for the functioning of our nation, and any encumbrance on them poses great risk to our security, safety and other essential services,” Odumosu said.
He explained that the Corps’ efforts is also aimed towards enforcing the ban against scavenging activities within the city centre where major critical national assets and infrastructure are installed.
“We are resolute in enforcing this ban, safeguarding public infrastructure in the FCT and this effort would be sustained till we achieve sanity in the territory.
“These criminals and their partners now specialize in the vandalism, theft and illegal sales of vandalized public infrastructure business chain.
“We are going to take more robust measures to address this menace in the FCT once and for all,” the NSCDC Commandant said.
Odumosu appreciated the support and cooperation of the general public and encouraged residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities around critical installations to the Corps for appropriate action.
He added that the protection of residents and critical infrastructure remained of paramount importance to the corps.