Kaduna- The Nigerian Army on Wednesday handed over two oil pipeline vandals to the Police Command in Kaduna for prosecution.
Brig.-Gen. Tagbubo Ude, the Commander, 1 Division, Internal Security Force of the army, told newsmen in Kaduna that the suspects were arrested on March 21 on the Kaduna-Abuja highway following a tip-off.
He said: ``Our troops were alerted on the activities of some suspected oil pipeline vandals and illegal oil bunkerers at Sabon Gida village, six kilometres off the former Kaduna-Abuja road tollgate, in Kaduna South Local Government Area of the state.’’
Ude gave the names of the two arrested suspects as Usman Umar and Aliyu Musa, while two others, Musa Inuwa and Chris, are at large.
He said that the suspects had already loaded two trailers with diesel, when the troops raided the area and arrested them.
He said: ``The suspected economic saboteurs had already loaded 51,800 liters of Automated Gas Oil (AGO), popularly known as diesel in two of the vehicles.
``One was already loaded with 39,500 liters and were in the process of loading one, which is containing about 12,300 litres.’’
The commander added that the troops also discovered four petrol tankers with registration number, Gombe XF 786 GME; Nasarawa NSW 05 FA; Plateau AA 413 AKW; and Sokoto XA 445 GDA at the scene.
He said that three generators, five large hoses, two punching bars, one drilling machine, one sledge hammer, one digger and handle, three assorted tanker keys, one short hose and welding appliances, were also recovered at the scene.
``Since the arrest of these men and the confiscation of their vehicles and equipment, there has not been a single incident of oil pipeline vandalism or illegal oil bunkering in Kaduna state.
``This attests to the fact that the syndicate has for long been involved in illegal oil bunkering and oil pipeline vandalism in the state.’’
While handing over the two suspects to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Olufemi Adenaike, the commander appealed to the public to continue to support security agencies with useful information that could aid in protecting lives and property.
He said: ``Also, I would like to plead with the good peoples of Kaduna State and Nigerians at large to kindly assist us with credible and timely information about the activities of these economic saboteurs and criminals in the society.
`` We guarantee absolute confidentiality of any information that might be given to us.’’
Receiving the suspects, Adenaike commended the army for its support in ensuring peace and security in the state, saying: ``This is a clear indication that the Nigerian Army, Police and other security agencies were collaborating towards achieving their constitutional responsibility in safeguarding the lives and properties of the people.’’
The commissioner, who was represented by Yahaya Bello, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, assured the public that the other persons involved in the case would be apprehended.
He reiterated the commitment of the police to securing the lives and property of Nigerians.