Three security personnel working with the Nigerian Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been arrested for vandalising sections of the railways in Nasarawa State.
One Samuel Asoloko said to be a personnel of the Nigerian Legion and a Chinese Nationale identified as Marra Thai were also arrested.
Special Adviser to the Governor on infrastructure, Yusuf Abubakar Musa, a former Supervisory Councillor on the Education of Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area, Mohammed Isiaka and Samuel Shagbaor, a principal technical officer of the railway corporation covering the Agyaragu area of the state were also arrested.
The state Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe who paraded the suspects at the police headquarters in Lafia, the state capital on Thursday May 27, said one Nathaniel Bob, the Legal Adviser to the Chinese company was also arrested for attempting to bribe the police with 600,000 to secure the release of his client. The bribe was rejected.
“Nathaniel Oba ‘M’ 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”
Two other persons, Yusuf Ahmed and Abubakar Nuhu said to be owners of trailers used to transport the stolen railway slippers also allegedly tried to bribe the police with 160,000 naira for the release of their vehicles. They are however not in custody for conspiracy.
Longe revealed that the arrest was made possible after the command developed an anti-vandalism template to checkmate activities of vandals across the state.
“Based on the 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.
“Consequently, the State Police command developed a strategic anti-vandalism template to arrest the tide of this unwholesome scenario.
“It is gratifying to note, however, 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 LGA and Angwan Alago of Kadarko district in Keana LGA.”
Marra Thai who manages a steel company in Tungan Maje of Nigeria Capital Abuja in disguise, is alleged to be the criminal receiver through his procurement officer Jacob Terlumun.
“Preliminary investigation into these cases so far has 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 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”
Exhibits recovered are 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, the 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.
Investigations into the case are still ongoing at State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia.