The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Cross River have arrested seven suspects over alleged vandalism of electricity cable in the state, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The NSCDC Commandant, Mr Stephen Lar, told newsmen on Thursday in Calabar that the suspects were arrested on Jan. 4 in Ogoja Local Government Area during the regular patrol and surveillance of critical national assets and infrastructure.
According to him, the command, under his leadership, has recorded achievements in the areas of arrest of suspects involved in petroleum products theft and cable vandals.
“In keeping with the core mandate of the NSCDC which is mainly to curb vandalism of critical national assets, especially in the oil and other sectors, the Cross River command of the NSCDC intercepted vandals who tampered with transformer cables.
“As you can see, they steal these cables and burn them into copper irons for their selfish benefits, thereby keeping Nigerians in darkness.
‘’Because our eagle eyes are everywhere, we were able to get them arrested in the act.
“This arrest was carried out Jan. 4 along Ogoja axis. Sabotaging the country’s economy by same Nigerians has been a recurring decimal; so, we have always been having these issues.
“Even in the oil sector, we have made remarkable achievements by arresting thieves of petroleum products. We have quite a number of exhibits in our records.’’
The commandant further said that the 2018 Calabar Carnival was largely successful in terms of power supply because NSCDC personnel kept vigil on all transformers and protected them from vandals.
Lar explained that after a thorough investigation, the suspects, who were paraded before newsmen, would be prosecuted.
He warned residents to shun all forms of violence and vandalism of critical assets, adding that the command would not spare anyone caught in the act.
Meanwhile, one of the suspects, Aminu Kano, claimed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he did not commit the alleged offence.
“In the name of Allah, I am not a thief. I do iron business in my shop; I don’t have anything to do with these cables.
“These cables were stolen far away and the suspects absconded. The NSCDC were patrolling around my shop and sighted me working, they now arrested me wrongly.
“I repeat, I don’t know anything about these cables and how I got to Calabar from Ogoja surprised me,’’ he said.