The Imo Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it has arrested seven men for allegedly vandalising and selling iron road barriers.
The Acting State Commandant of the corps, Mr Chukwuemeka Odimba, said this while parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Owerri on Tuesday.
According to reports that two of the suspects were arrested for allegedly removing the iron barriers, while five were arrested for buying the vandalised otems.
Odimba said that his men arrested the suspects, courtesy of reliable intelligence reports on the whereabouts of the culprits.
He further said that the arrest was in line with the corps’ mandate of protecting critical government assets.
He frowned at the activities of vandals, describing the removal of the barriers as sabotage against government’s efforts to provide necessary infrastructure.
The state NSCDC boss also said that the crime further put the lives of motorists and other road users in jeopardy.
He called on Nigerians to desist from vandalising government’s property.
According to him, the corps will not relent in the discharge of its constitutional duties.
“We arrested them upon receiving strong intelligence because removing barriers and selling them, especially the ones at the Imo State University Junction, puts the lives of at least 10,000 students and other road users at risk.
“There is no need destroying gvernment property, given the scarcity of funds at government’s disposal,” he said.
Odimba gave assurance that the suspects would be prosecuted at the end of the investigations “in order to serve as a deterrent to others”, he said.
One of the suspects, Mr Nnaemeka Azunna, aged 21, denied deliberately removing the barriers.
Azunna said that the barriers were knocked off from the road by a trailer before he took them away to sell.
Also, Mr Aminu Ibrahim, 22, said that he was deceived into engaging in the trade and begged for leniency.
Odimba, however, called on residents of the state to assist the command with reliable information on the whereabouts of vandals.
“This will be their contribution toward the protection of lives and property in the state,”