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Railway police arrest vandals, robbers of railway infrastructure

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Segun Oladipupo
The Railway Command of the Nigerian Police Force in August, arrested 15 suspects for various crimes ranging from theft, vandalisation, other heinous crimes committed within the purview of the command.As a result, the command has beefed up security around the railway corridors in effort to reduce vandalization and theft of railway infrastructure nationwide. In Minna, Niger State, three suspects were intercepted by the patrol team of the Railway Police Division upon credible tip-off by members of a vigilante group.

The suspects, Hadi Mohammed (42), Abdullahi Mohammed (34), and Abdullahi Shittu (45), were arrested with 32 Railway iron slippers loaded in a saloon car. Similarly in Aba, four suspects- Michael Chukwuebuka, Chigozie Augustine, Onyekachi Abba, and Chukwuma Adumoha, were arrested in connection to the theft of railway pandrol slippers kept by Chinese Construction Company (CCECC) for construction.
Upon investigation, the stolen items were recovered and handed over to the construction company. Two fleeing suspects- Ridwan Olalekan and Sharafa Muritala, have also been arrested and charged to court by the Railway Criminal Investigation Department. The suspects were initially spotted in a bush in Akwanga, Nasarawa state, where they vandalized about 72 rail track irons.
 At the sight of policemen, the suspects fled the scene and abandoned their truck vehicle. After intense investigation, the suspects were arrested and charged to court.
 Both have been remanded in Ikoyi Correctional Centre.At the Ilorin, Kwara state division of the Command, it apprehended two suspected vandals- Yahaya Mohammed and Jumai Sule with 113 pandrol clips at Sabongida area of Jebba during a routine patrol; Gombe division also arrested one Bashir Abudullahi who was caught in the act of vandalizing and stealing 58 railway clips.Two trucks belonging to Dangote Sugar were spotted in Kaduna, loaded with unspecified amount of Railway irons belonging to the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
 No suspects have been arrested in connection with the crime, however, the trucks have been moved to safe custody while investigations are ongoing. While the Commissioner of Police, Railway Police Command, CP Yetunde Longe spoke on the beefing-up around the railway corridors and confirming the arrest of suspects, she noted the importance of Citizen-Police partnership in order to bring crime and criminal elements to stand-still.CP Yetunde Longe added that the war against railway vandalism is a continuous one until the entire Nigerian rail roads are free from vandals and criminal elements as perpetrators will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

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