The Commissioner of Police, Railway Command, Yetunde Longe, said the command under her watch, within two months arrested 30 suspected railway vandals.

These arrests followed the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, to all service chiefs to safeguard the railway infrastructure across the Federation.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Baba Alkali, also directed the Railway Police Command to engage the Direct Action Response Tactics (DART), to effectively protect the railway corridors from vandals.

Longe said: “Upon this directive, the Railway Police command of the Nigerian Police Force has arrested 30 suspected railway vandals between the month of September and October 2022. The Command recorded big on the 8th of September, 2022, while acting upon credible information, men of the Railway Police Command swooped on some criminal elements that had been involved in recurrent vandalism and theft of railway iron sleepers at the section KM 1086 Sheme Town Faskari Local Government Area of Kastina State; leading to the arrest of 14 suspects.”

After an exchange of fire with the policemen, it was gathered that the suspects abandoned a Trailer truck with REG NO NASARAWA LFA 307XB and a Sharon car. However, further relentless combing of the crime scene led to the arrest of the suspects on the 10th of September, 2022.

The suspects are: Muhammed Lawan (35), Umar Garba (28), Sahana Iliyasu (22), Bashiru Abdulrahaman (20), Dauda Musa (27), Ahmad Sani (21), Muhammed Haruna (20), Aten Ahmed, Gaddafi Bala (21), Ali Umar (25), Wudeama Tahiru (23), John Jaccob (22), Ezekiel Gumeret (26), Sulaimon Musa (20).

Similarly, on 26th September 2022, the Rigasa Railway Divisional Police Headquarters arrested five suspects in connection with the vandalism of window frames at Gidan Buse substation station.

The suspects namely: Sadi Mohammed (26), Nasiru Yakubu (35), Yau Ibrahim (26); while two others were arrested- Buhari Samlia (25), Aliyu Abdulahi (24) were also arrested for the same crime on the 17th of October, 2022.

Men of the Funtua Railway Police Division, Katsina State also raided the hideout of notorious railway vandals and arrested four suspected vandals in possession of one hundred and railway iron sleepers and sixty cut-to-size triangular iron pieces belonging to the Nigerian Railway Cooperation (NRC).

On the 4th and 14th of November, 2022, men of the Kafanchan Railway Police Division and Men of the Nigerian Army School of artillery intercepted two Dangote trucks with Registration numbers: MJB-367XA and DAL-754ZX.

The trucks were loaded with 45 and 37-long rail irons respectively. Three suspects each: Adamu Lawal (32), Tajudeen Yusuf (27), Sulieman Lawal (19); Abdulkadir Idris (45), Garba Sule (37), and Bilyaminu I Ahmadu (37), have been arrested in connection to the crime.

Bauchi Divisional Headquarters upon a credible tip-off also intercepted a J5 bus with registration number XC318BAU. The suspects upon sighting the policemen fled, abandoning the bus with fifty pieces of Railway sleepers concealed with firewood. The bus and exhibits have been taken into police custody while investigations to apprehend the suspects continue.

Relatively, Port Harcourt Railway Police Division also made an arrest of one suspect at the Port Harcourt Railway station. The suspect, James Wisdom (25) was caught stealing seats of first-class train coaches parked at a railway station.

Longe, however, noted that investigations would be swiftly concluded and the culprits will be duly charged to court to face the wrath of the law to its full extent.

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