In a bid to combat crime and criminal activities within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) FCT Command has intensified its efforts to clamp down on vandals and criminals targeting critical infrastructure. During a recent routine night operation, the command arrested fifteen (15) individuals suspected of engaging in various forms of criminal activities.
The suspects were apprehended at different locations within the territory during the operation. They were involved in activities such as vandalism of public property, theft, bag snatching, phone theft, and attacks on innocent citizens while disguising themselves as scavengers.
The FCT Commandant, Olusola Odumosu, revealed this while parading the suspects at the FCT Command Headquarters in Wuse, Zone 5, Abuja. Items recovered from the suspects included burglary irons, a stolen Lexus ES 330 vehicle used for transporting stolen goods, vandalized transmission cables, climbing equipment, tools like hammers, screwdrivers, measuring tapes, spanners, compasses, helmets, reflective jackets, hacksaws, sets of ladies’ earrings, bags, a cart, and a pumping machine.
Commandant Odumosu emphasized that the apprehended suspects would face prosecution according to their offenses and in accordance with the law. This action aims to hold them accountable for their actions and serve as a deterrent to others engaging in similar criminal activities. He mentioned that efforts are underway to locate and capture the two other accomplices who are currently at large.
During the interrogation, one of the suspects, caught vandalizing telecommunication cables in Wuse Zone 4, claimed to be an engineer conducting maintenance work for a registered engineering company. However, he failed to provide satisfactory responses, documents, or permits to verify his claim.
Commandant Odumosu expressed his disapproval of activities that have led to the significant degradation of critical assets and public utilities, which in turn pose potential risks to public safety.
“The act of vandalism is not only a crime but it also inhibits effective functioning of critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure is vital to the survival of our nation, and any encumbrance on them poses great risk to our security, safety, and other essential services,” Odumosu stated.
He further noted that the NSCDC’s efforts also include enforcing the ban on scavenging activities within the city center where major critical national assets and infrastructure are installed.
“We are resolute in enforcing this ban, safeguarding public infrastructure in the FCT, and this effort will be sustained until we achieve sanity in the territory. These criminals and their partners now specialize in the vandalism, theft, and illegal sale of vandalized public infrastructure business chain. We are going to take more robust measures to address this menace in the FCT once and for all,” he added.
Odumosu issued a stern warning that the NSCDC would not tolerate any criminal activities that could jeopardize government efforts in providing security and essential services in the FCT. He advised individuals with criminal intentions to either relocate from Abuja or abstain from engaging in illegal and unproductive ventures, as violators would face severe consequences.
While expressing appreciation for the support and cooperation of the general public, the Commandant encouraged residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities around critical installations to the Corps for appropriate action. He reiterated that the protection of residents and critical infrastructure was of paramount importance to the Corps.