Chinese man , Marra Thai, (middle)and other suspects arrested for theft of rail tracks and rail sleepers
Nasarawa Police Command has arrested fifteen suspected rail tracks and sleepers thieves.
A Chinese national, Marra Thai and an aide of Gov. Abdullahi Sule were among the group.
Governor Sule’s aide was identified as Yusuf Abubakar Musa, the adviser on infrastructure.
The Commissioner of Police in Nasarawa state, Mr Bola Longe, announced this while addressing newsmen in Lafia.
According to Longe, some of the suspects were caught on the spot vandalising the rail connection between Nasarawa and Benue states, to harvest their rail heists.
He said 15 other suspects were arrested in connection with the crime.
Among them were two policemen – an Inspector and a Sergeant attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia; and a personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The CP explained that the suspects were arrested in two separate operations while stealing railway tracks and sleepers on May 16, and May 24, in Agyaragun Tofa in Lafia and Kadarko in Keana Local Government Areas of the state.
Longe said the Chinese, Mr. Marra Thai, Manager of Yong Xing Steel Company, Tunga Maje, FCT Abuja was arrested as a criminal receiver.
Jacob Terlumun Emmanuel, Procurement Officer of the Chinese Company was equqlly arrested.
He said that items recovered included two articulated trucks and two buses loaded with stolen rail tracks and rail sleepers.
According to him, criminal elements have turned the Nigerian railway tracks that traverse some major cities and villages in Nasarawa State en route to Benue state to goldmines where they vandalise and cart away rail tracks and rail sleepers.
“Preliminary investigation into the cases so far revealed that it is a grand conspiracy involving high net worth individuals who act as sponsors and drivers of various syndicates that specialise in vandalising Nigeria railway lines in different parts of the state.
“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 by companies mostly owned by foreign nationals who process steel and iron scraps to make wrongful gains at the expense of the national interest,” Longe said.
The commissioner said investigation was on-going into the matter at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia.
List of those arrested:
Samuel Asoloko – a personnel of the Nigerian Legion, Aliyu Abdullahi Dan Amana, Abdul Qayyumu Abubakar ‘M’ and Inspr. Richard Joseph attached to State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia.
Others are Sgt. Mali Peter attached to State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia, Ibrahim Amegwa Usman – a personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps attached to Arm Squad, NSCDC’s, Command Headquarters, Lafia, Jubrin Ibrahim Hayas ‘M’, Yusuf Abubakar Musa A.K.A Yusuf Mada – Special Adviser to the Governor of Nasarawa State on Infrastructure and Mohammed Isiaka – Former supervisory councillor on education, Nasarawa Eggon LGA.
Also among them are Samuel Shagbaor – a staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the Principal Technical Officer covering Agyaragu, Lafia and its suburbs, Umaru Dauda ‘M’, Yusuf Ahmed ‘M’, Abubakar Nuhu ‘M’ Owners of the trailer who offered N160, 000.00 bribe to secure the release of the trailer, Mohammed Abdullahi ‘M’, Nathaniel Oba ‘M’ 48yrs – Principal Partner Nathoba & CO a law chamber in Benin city and the legal adviser to Yong Xing Steel Company Nigeria Limited who offered six hundred thousand naira cash to bribe the investigating team of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit to secure the release of his client.
Exhibits recovered are one Falker Mercedes Benz Truck with registration number LFA 636 ZX loaded with vandalised rail tracks/slippers, one DAF with registration number T-1726 LA trailer loaded with vandalised rail tracks/sleepers, Sum of one hundred and sixty thousand naira (N160,000) offered as bribe to secure the release of the vehicle and two white Peugeot J5 buses with one loaded with vandalised rail tracks with registration number XU 790 ENU ENUGU and QAP 654 XA respectively.