By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Anambra State Command, have arrested four persons for indulging in a criminal activity capable of causing total blackout in the Chinua Achebe International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri.
The suspects, aged between 20 to 37, were said to have been arrested in Awka, the State capital early this week, following a tip-off from a concerned citizen who informed the Corps of the criminal activity of the suspects.
Confirming the arrest in a press statement made available to newsmen on Friday, the Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Anambra State Command, DSC Okadigbo Edwin, revealed that the syndicate specialized in vandalising armoured cables and other electrical installations within and around the Awka metropolis.
According to him, the Commandant of the NSCDC, Anambra State Command, Cmdt. Edwin Osuala paraded the suspects at the Command’s Headquarters Awka on Friday, where he also gave detailed information about their crime and arrest, noting that the tip-off came to the Command through a concerned citizen who saw a group of persons evacuating an armoured cables from an electrical installation in Awka.
The NSCDC Spokesperson man quoted the State Commandant as saying: “At about 0630hours on Monday, 4th November, 2023, the Command received a distress call about a group of persons vandalizing armoured cable behind Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka .
“Upon receiving the information, operatives of the Command swung into action and arrested the following four suspects with bundles of vandalized armoured electric cable: Monday Chukwu (male, aged 37) of Ntezi, Ebonyi State; Okwudiri Nnaji (male, aged 29) of Idodo, Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State; Agu Ikechukwu (male, aged 20) of Ehamufu Isiuzo L.G.A. of Enugu State; and Chinecherem Idoho (male) from Uboloafor, Udenu L.G.A. of Enugu State.
“When interrogated, all the suspects confessed to the commission of the crime and mentioned one KC ‘m’ (now at large) as their accomplice.”
According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that the armoured cables being vandalized by the suspects were part of the 33KV dedicated Airport Feeder from Awka Substation that supplies power to Chinua Achebe International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri.
He further hinted that the suspects admitted using handsaw and cutter to severe and strip the electric cables before selling the items as scrap.
The PRO also said the State Commandant had ordered the Investigation and Intelligence Department to activate mechanism in arresting the fleeing suspect in connection with the offence, and to, upon completion of discreet investigation, arraign all the suspects in court.
“Comdt. Osuala, however, frowned at the activities of power installation vandals in the state whom he described as economic saboteurs, saying that vandalism of electricity network infrastructure is a serious offence punishable with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment under Section 1(9) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act LFN 2004.
“He assured the public that the Corps is fully prepared to protect all critical national assets and infrastructure in and around the State,” DSC Edwin added.