FCT NSCDC parades 51 suspected illegal Miners, 3 telecommunication mast vandals

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By Palma Ileye

FCT Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has arrested 51 suspected illegal miners and 3 suspected telecommunication mast vandals in the territory.

The NSCDC FCT Commandant, Olusola Odumosu in a press release issued by CSC Samuel Idoko, CDPRO- FCT while briefing newsmen of their arrest on Monday at the Command’s Headquarters, Wuse, Zone 5, Abuja said that the three vandalism suspects were apprehended by his men of Critical National Assets and infrastructure unit, following a tip-off of the dismantling activity at Giri area by the FCT Command intelligence and undercover operatives.

Odumosu enlightened the public that before the decommissioning of any mast, an approval of such act must be obtained from the NSCDC being the lead agency in the protection of critical national asset and infrastructure in the country.

He disclosed that the suspects during interrogation by the Command’s Anti-vandal Unit, were unable to show an approval from the Corps.

“Neither do they have any proper means of identification showing who they are and the company they are working for.

“Upon further questioning, they revealed that a a certain business man had already been paid the sum of N4 million ahead for the dismantling which raised suspicion of a premeditated act of vandalism.

“Ongoing investigation is being carried out to determine his level of culpability and ownership claim after which necessary action will be taken,” he said.

The Commandant disclosed that in a similar operation, 51 suspects were arrested in Gwagwalada area of the FCT for engaging in illegal mining activities.

He explained that the suspects, all male, had been profiled and had no evidence of a registered company they were operating under as well as no exploration and mining licence.

“All acts of illegal mining encroaches on the soil and causes environmental degradation and erosion and that is why most of these areas are no longer useful for agricultural and human activities,” the Commandant said.

He said that after thoroughly investigating both cases, the suspects would be charged to court for further disciplinary action that will serve as deterrence to others.

Exhibits recovered from the 54 suspects were dismantled metal mast parts, five pumping machines.

“Un-quantified amount of substance alleged to be gold dust, pumping hoses, ten litres of fuel, shovels, diggers and head- pan.

According to Odumosu, “henceforth, we will not relent to arrest any form of sabotage on the economy; the Federal Government is trying so hard to provide infrastructure to make life easy.

“And some miscreants in the name of vandalism and illegal mining are trying to destroy what has been provided.

“People are quick in condemning government but people like these are the ones destroying the efforts of the Federal Government.”

The Command Head warned vandals and criminals in the FCT to relocate, stressing that, the NSCDC was out for them as there is no hiding place left for them in the territory.