Four men suspected to have vandalised N40million worth of manholes and drainage covers in Abuja and environs have been apprehended and paraded by the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Parading the suspects at the Command headquarters at the weekend, the FCT Commandant, Alh Aminu Kofa Soro said the men were apprehended following months of intelligence gathering by NSCDC staff.
He said the offence is contrary to Section 1, Sub-Section 6(A) of the miscellaneous act.
One of the suspects, Fahat Sani vandalises the items while the other three were said to be in the business of buying the stolen items from him which they later sell to construction companies.
Sani who spoke in Hausa said he’s a scavenger, confessing that he steals the items at night.
“I’m scavenger. I was the one who sold some of the items to them (the other suspects).”
He said he sells atN1,600 each and has been in the business for over six months.
While reacting to thed is covery, Head of Sewer, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Engr Aminu Ja’afar said “I can’t give you a precise estimate of what this would have cost but I’m assuring you that what we are seeing here is not less than forty million naira in terms of contractual cost.”
One of the suspects, Izunoh Nedolisa said he is into the business of buying and selling, and buys the items from a market in Jos, Plateau State.
“I bought these ones from Jos, almost six hundred and something pieces”, pointing to another direction; “I bought those ones from Aba.”
While noting that he was not aware the items were stolen, he confessed that he didn’t have the receipts for the items.
The suspect who said he supplies building companies added that other individual customers patronise him in his office in Deidei market.
The Assistant Director, Security Department of the Federal Capital Territory Administration(FCDA), Adamu Gwary said the removal of critical infrastructures was a source of concern to the FCT.
“Looking at those things (the stolen items) you will agree with me that it cost the authority huge sums of money to replace them.”
He said the removal of such items were creating an environmental nuisance and also constitutes danger to pedestrians.
While commended the efforts of the NSCDC in apprehending the suspects, Gwary promised to continue to work with the Corps to ensure that activities of vandals are stopped in the FCT.