Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Thirteen suspects, 10 of which were casual workers, engaged by a Chinese company have been arrested for vandalism of armoured cables and other associated equipment of Abuja mass transit rail.
Their arrest was effected by a private guard company contracted to safeguard the infrastructure.
The casual workers engaged by the Chinese company to work on the railways, were said to have used the opportunity to cannibalise the facility.
The suspects were paraded yesterday by the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the company, Segun Adekola and officials of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Transport Secretariat.
Adekola said over 100 suspected vandals had been arrested by his company over the years and were promptly handed over to security agencies for prosecution.
He, however, regretted that some of those arrested in the past were released on bail, while some of them went back to the crimes for which they were initially arrested.
“We have been working with relevant stakeholders in the discharge of our duties and acting on a tip-off, we were able to effect the arrest of these people and we are ready to do more,” Adekola said.
He vowed that all the suspects would be handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for further profiling and prosecution.
Also speaking, Director of Operations at the firm, James Chukwu, said operatives of the company had also gone a notch in arresting buyers of stolen rail components.
“We are the outsourced security company charged with the responsibility of protecting Abuja railway lines. We cover several railway stations and we also cover the railway tracks to avoid the issue of vandalism of materials.
“You can see so many of them behind me, about 13 of them who were involved in the vandalism. We have about 10 vandals while the others are buyers.”
Chukwu added the Chinese company had also been contacted and was cooperating with investigators.