A four-person syndicate specialising in vandalising electricity cables has been arrested by the Anambra State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The suspects were apprehended after a vigilant Awka resident tipped off the authorities about their activities.
The culprits were arrested on November 4, 2023 for vandalising electricity armoured cable powering the Chinua Achebe International Airport, Umueri.
Mr Edwin Osuala, the State Commandant of NSCDC, who paraded the suspects in Awka on Friday, said the arrest followed timely and credible information to the Corps by a vigilant Awka resident.
According to him, around 6 30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, 2023, the command received a distress call that a group of persons were vandalising armoured cable behind Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square Awka.
“Upon the information, operatives of the command swung into action and arrested four suspects with bundles of vandalised armoured electric cable.
The arrested persons, all males, were “Monday Chukwu, aged 37 from Ntezi Ebonyi State, Okwudiri Nnaji, aged 29 from Idodo Nkanu East Enugu State, Agu Ikechukwu, aged 20 from Ehamufu Isiuzo Local Government Area (LGA), Enugu State, and Chinecherem Idoho, from Uboloafor Udenu, Enugu State,” he said.
Osuala said, “When interrogated, all the suspects confessed to the commission of the crime and named one KC ‘m’, now at large , as their accomplice.”
He said preliminary investigation revealed that the armoured cables were part of the 33KV dedicated power line connecting the International Cargo Airport, Umueri Feeder l, from Awka Substation.
Osuala said the suspects admitted using a handsaw and cutter to cut and strip the electric cables before selling the items as scrap.
The State Commandant, however, ordered the Investigation and Intelligence Department to activate mechanism in arresting the fleeing suspect in connection with the offence.
He said all the suspects would be arraigned in court upon completion of discreet investigation in the matter.
Osuala frowned at the activities of power installation vandals in the state who he described as economic saboteurs, saying that anyone caught must face the full weight of the law.
“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 and anyone caught must go in for it,” Osuala warned.