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FCTA to prosecute 7 suspects for vandalising Abuja rail project

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA ) Transport Secretariat has vowed to prosecute seven suspected vandals who were arrested at the early hours of Wednesday while vandalising the rail track of the Abuja Light Rail project.
The suspects who were arrested by some vigilant security personnels assigned to guard the railway facilities, are believed to specialise in vandalising perimeter fences, communication cabled and rail track cables.
The Mandate Secretary, Transportation Secretariat Uboku Nyah who was on tour of various sections of the vandalized rail track at Kukwuaba, on Thursday, said such act of sabotage from the citizenry was highly condemnable.
Nyah wondered why residents, who the government expended so much funds to provide social infrastructure that will ameliorate their living conditions, will be involved in the act of sabotaging the effort by vandalising them.
He vowed that he will ensure that appropriate authorities institute legal actions against the suspects to serve as deterrent to others.
According to him: “Over the past few days, the FCT Minister has been emphasising the importance of efficient transportation particularly the rail transportation, in line with the vision of the renewed hope agenda of the President, in providing cheap and safe transportation for our people. The anchor of that is on the rail transportation,which can move the people massively from one place to another, and government has invested heavily in that infrastructure.
“We are sad to come and see what has happened. We got this report in the office that there have been a lot of vandalisation on our protective fences, tracks and communication cables. We came to see what has been happening, and we can confirm what we have seen. It is sad and very condemnable that our people that we are working for are doing this because people didn’t come from outer space to cause this level of vandalisation.
“What this means is that we have to spend double, and delay the project. We had expected that within the year that the rail services will start. But, when we came here and see that even the cables and the protective fences have been vandalised by our people, it is something that takes us back, and it is criminal for anybody to do this. That is why the Minister of FCT and government of FCT doesn’t take it lightly, as the full weight of the law will be visited on the people.
Fortunately, a few of these people have been taken in, and whatever is due legally will be done to discourage other people from acting against the interest of the government and the people.”
Narrating how the arrest was effected, the General Supervisor, SEGAD Security Japhet MaiKeffi, said he and his men were on their routine patrol when they sighted the suspects digging the rail tracks to remove the armoured cables.
He added that his team immediately swung into action by chasing the suspected vandals who took to their heels to escape arrest that night. But their vigilance and strategy paid off in the early hours of Wednesday when the unfortunate suspects ran into their ambush on heir way to continue their nefarious activities.
“Day before yesterday, we went out for general patrol, so around 2:10 am, we saw four young people (suspects) digging the rail tracks, to remove the armoured cables inside the bush, immediately we parked, and flashed torchlight, and immediately they noticed us, they started running, we begun chasing them.
“And we laid ambushed inside the bush while waiting for them, till about 5:05 Am, then one of them was seen coming out with a shovel on his hand, that was when we immediately arrested him.
He added that they used the arrested suspect’s phone to track others to their residences in a Baba-bola (scavengers) settlement at Gwagwa, where they were all arrested and taken into custody.”
The lead member of the gang who gave his name as Salisu Ibrahim and spoke in hausa language narrated that: “On our way to work(cable vandalism)in the middle of the night, we sighted a torch light from a far and we guessed it must be coming from the security personnel assigned to guard the rail way facilities. Am actually a motor mechanic, but had to switch into vandalism due to lack of job and its lucrativeness.
“As we attempted approaching them to clear ourselves, suddenly a vehicle started chasing us and in our confused state, we took to our heels to escape from the security men.
“We thought everything was over the next morning and decided to resume from where we stopped the previous night, but unfortunately we walked into their ambush and I was apprehended.
“Our work is to vandalise, steal the cables and sell and this is the fourth time I’ve been involved the activity.”

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