Seven suspects have been apprehended by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for allegedly removing and selling road barricades in Imo State.
NSCDC’s Acting State Commandant in Imo, Mr Chukwuemeka Odimba, said this while parading the suspects in Owerri, on Tuesday.
Out of the seven suspects, two were arrested for allegedly removing the barricades while five were arrested for buying the looted property.
Odimba, a Deputy Commandant, said that his men effected the arrests after receiving reliable intelligence reports on the whereabouts of the culprits, in line with the Corps’ mandate of protecting critical assets of the government.
He frowned at the activities of vandals and said that the removal of the barricades would not only sabotage the government’s efforts to provide necessary infrastructure but also put the lives of road users in jeopardy.
He called on Nigerians to desist from vandalism of Government property, adding that the Corps would not relent in discharging its constitutional duties.
“We arrested them upon receiving strong intelligence because removing barricades and selling them, especially the ones at the Imo State University junction, puts the lives of over 10,000 students and other road users at risk.
“There’s no need destroying Government property, considering the scarcity of funds; so we’ll ensure that they are prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.
One of the suspects, Mr Nnaemeka Azunna, aged 21, denied deliberately removing the barricades, adding that they were knocked away from the road by a trailer before he took them away from the road for commercial purposes.
Also, Mr Aminu Ibrahim, a 22 year-old suspect, said that he was deceived into engaging in the trade and begged for leniency.
Odimba, however, called on residents of the state to furnish the Command with reliable information on the whereabouts of vandals as a way of contributing to the protection of lives and property.