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Nigerian governor’s aide, police officers, others arrested for vandalising railway tracks

NEWSMAN, Lafia – Special Adviser to the Governor of Nasarawa State on Infrastructure, Yusuf Musa, has been arrested for his alleged role in the vandalism of railway tracks.

Nasarawa State police commissioner, Bola Longe, on Thursday announced this while parading Musa and other suspects at the Force Headquarters in Lafia.

The Commissioner in a statement said the suspects, including police officers, were nabbed following the intelligence information received by the command.

According to him, the suspects have “turned the Nigerian railway tracks that traverse some major cities and villages in Nasarawa State en route to Benue state to gold mines where they vandalise and cart away rail tracks”.

“Consequently, the State Police command developed a strategic anti-vandalism template to arrest the tide of this unwholesome scenario.

“It is gratifying to note however, that, this template paid off on 16/5/2021 at about 0130hrs and 24/5/2021 at about 0300hrs respectively when police operatives swooped on the vandals at their theatre of operation while vandalising and carting away railway tracks/slippers along Agyaragu Tofa in Lafia LGA and Angwan Alago of Kadarko district in Keana LGA”, he said.

Longe stated that Richard Joseph, an inspector of police; Mali Peter, a sergeant; Ibrahim Usman, an official of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; and three others were arrested at the crime scenes.

He, however, said an extensive investigation into the case led to the arrest of Mr Musa and ten others.

Others arrested include a former supervisory councillor on education, Nasarawa Eggon LGA, Mohammed Isiaka, a Chinese national and the Manager of Yong Xing Steel Company, Tunga Maje, FCT Abuja, Marra Thai, and a staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Samuel Shagbaor.

The police boss mentioned that one Abubakar Nuhu offered N160,000.00 bribe to secure the release of a trailer conveying the vandalised tracks.

Also, he said one Nathaniel Oba, the legal adviser to Yong Xing Steel Company Nigeria Limited, offered six hundred thousand naira cash to bribe the investigating team of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit to secure the release of his client.

Highlighting the exhibits, Longe noted that a Falker Mercedes Benz Truck with registration number LFA 636 ZX loaded with vandalised rail tracks/slippers, a DAF trailer loaded with vandalised rail tracks/slippers, the sum of N160,000 offered as bribe to secure the release of the vehicle, two white Peugeot J5 buses have been recovered from the suspects.

“It needs to be emphasised here that, preliminary investigation into these cases so far, have revealed that, it is a grand conspiracy involving high net worth individuals who act as sponsors and drivers of various syndicates which specialise in vandalising Nigerian railway tracks/slippers in different parts of Nasarawa State notably: Gudi-Lafia-Akeleku-Makurdi railway line.

“This is a classic case of sabotage being perpetrated by unpatriotic Nigerians including some personnel of security agencies who are employed by the Nigerian state to protect lives and property. This criminal circus is sustained and kept alive by companies who process steel/iron scraps and mostly owned by foreign nationals who make wrongful gains at the expense of the national interest”, the police commissioner said.

Meanwhile, the governor’s aide, in an interviewed claimed that he was not aware that the items sold to him were vandalised, Premium Times reported.

“I am a businessman. I have an agent that supplies things to me and I believed in him. The agent is dead. He died last month in an accident along Akwanga/Nasarawa Eggon road. It was the first time they brought the railway tracks and slippers to me. After buying, I sold it for N3.6 million”, Musa said.

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