Nasarawa State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it has arrested eight suspects over alleged vandalism of railway sleepers in Lafia.
The State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Mohammed Mahmoud-Fari, who paraded the suspects at the Command’s headquarters on Wednesday, said that they were arrested with 370 pieces of the sleepers.
Mahmoud-Fari said that operatives of the command, acting on intelligence, arrested the suspects on March 31, in Agyaragu village while conveying the items in a truck to Lafia.
The commandant explained that the prime suspect, driver of the truck and one other were initially apprehended while five other suspects were later arrested based on information.
He said that investigation was ongoing to arrest other accomplices and prosecute them accordingly.
Mahmoud-Fari said that he had directed all divisional officers in the command to ensure maximum protection of railway facilities in their areas.
Meanwhile, the prime suspect (name withheld) told newsmen that he was contracted by one Alhaji to remove the railway sleepers with the claim that they had become obsolete and were about to be replaced.
According to him, the Alhaji had offered to pay N200 per sleeper, adding that he never knew it was criminal.
The suspect added that the plan was to meet the Alhaji in Lafia to pay for the cost of removing the sleepers and transportation.
However, when arrested, the suspect said the Alhaji’s mobile phone number was no longer connecting.
He pleaded for mercy saying that his action was as a result of hardship and that he was lured into the crime ignorantly.(NAN)