Juliana Francis

People using BUA and Dangote cement trucks to load and conceal stolen property belonging to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), were among 14 suspects arrested by the Railway Police Command of the Nigerian Police Force.

The Commissioner of Police, in charge of Railway Police Command Headquarters, Yetunde Longe, while confirming these arrests, said that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali, had zero tolerance for crime in the country, and had repeatedly vowed to wage war against crime and criminal elements in all sectors in Nigeria.

Longe noted that some of the arrested suspects have been charged to court while investigations are ongoing to arrest those at large.

She said that on 1st April 2022, the Kafanchan Railway Police Division of the command, acting on a tip-off, intercepted a BUA Cement truck fully loaded with railway slippers along Bankin-Kaninkon-Kogi.  On sighting the Police, the suspected vandals fled the scene, abandoning the truck. The police operatives carefully recovered the exhibits in the truck.

Further investigation, however, led to the arrest of Ahmed Tanko, who confessed to the crime.

Also on 27th April 2022, the Kafanchan divisional headquarters arrested six suspected vandals, who were loading multiple rail sheets of steel into two trucks, with one of the trucks belonging to Dangote Cement Company.

The suspects, namely Sergeant Sirajo Suileman of the Nigerian army central ammunition department, Kaduna, Idris Bawa, Idris Musa, Shamsu Abdulahi, Anthony Moses, and Yunana Gaius, were caught in the act in a bush near Camuru Station, Kachia, Local Government Area Kaduna State.

Also in Kano State, three suspects- Abdukarim Haruna, Hasssan Dahiru, Bashir Mumuhamed, were also apprehended by the Kano division of the Railway command. At least 51 railway slippers, 26 rail steels, and several quantities of destroyed rail iron rods and slippers were recovered from them.

Dugbe Railway Police Division, Ibadan, Oyo State, also arrested a Man O’ War staff identified as Azeez Wahab with a BAGCO bag containing 50 NRC tool bolts without a satisfactory account on how he got it. Similarly, the Offa division of the Railway Command in Kwara State also arrested one Ibukun of Railway Mechanical Department (Diesel Maintenance Section) for vandalism and stealing aluminum in one of the unused coaches within the train station premises; while the Minna divisional Headquarters also arrested one Aliyu for vandalizing railway clips in Minna, Niger State.

In another development, the Bodija Divisional Headquarters of the Railway Command in Ibadan on 6th  April, 2022, arrested an armed robbery suspect identified as Abdulahi Fatai, 20. Investigations revealed that the case is connected to that of another armed robbery suspect who was earlier arrested in December 2021 while going for an operation.

The CP warned criminal elements to desist from vandalizing government property, especially the railway tracks, as anyone caught will be seriously dealt with.

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