By Frank Oshanugor
Operatives of the Railway Command of the Nigerian Police Force have arrested three members of a syndicate that specialized in vandalizing railway tracks in different parts of the country.
The suspects, who engaged the police in a gun duel were a few days ago arrested, while destroying rails tracks along the Ameka/Mbom rail line in Abia State .
The new commissioner in charge of the Railway Command of the Nigerian Police Force, Yetunde Longe identified the suspects as: Kelechi Ononiwu, 36, Kalu Egbe, 30 and Stanley 27.
According to the police, the” Railway Command received a distress call from a concerned citizen that armed vandals numbering over five were sighted vandalizing rail track and removing rail sleepers and loading them into a black Toyota Hiace bus.
On the orders of the Commissioner of Police, Longe, officers of Umuahia Railway Divisional Headquarters were immediately mobilized and deployed to the scene.
The police added that ” On arriving the scene of the crime, the armed vandals on sighting the police patrol team, immediately opened fire on them.
“Following strong resistance from the police team, two vandals were arrested and one other sustained bullet injury.”
According to the police, “The injured vandal is currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Center Umuahia while search is still on for other fleeing members of the gang as Investigations are ongoing.”
CP Yetunde Longe promised that she would not condone any act of vandalism of any public infrastructure under her watch.
She also urged members of the public to partner with the police by providing useful information that can help to curb the menace of vandalism of rail track as it has been a major reason for train derailment in recent time.