This is contained in a statement issued by CP Yetunde Longe, the Commissioner of Police for the Command.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had given directives to all service chiefs and Nigeria Police Force to safeguard the railway infrastructure across the federation.
“Following the directives from the President, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, directed the Railway Police Command to engage the Direct Action Response Tactics (DART), to effectively protect the railway corridors from vandals.
“The command recorded big success on Sept.8, acting upon credible information, as men of the Railway Police Command swooped on some criminal elements that had been involved in recurrent vandalism and theft of railway iron sleepers at the section KM 1086 Sheme Town in Faskari LGA of Kastina State; leading to the arrest of 14 suspects.
“It was gathered that the suspects after their exchange of fire with the policemen abandoned a trailer truck with Reg. No. Nasarawa LFA 307XB and a Sharon car.
“However, further relentless combing of the crime scene led to the arrest of the suspects on Sept. 10,” she said.
The CP identified the suspects as Muhammed Lawan,35; Umar Garba, 28; Sahana iliyasu, 22; Bashiru Abdulrahaman, 20; Dauda Musa,27; Ahmad Sani 21; Muhammed Haruna 20.
Others are Gaddafi Bala,21; Ali Umar, 25; Wudeama Tahiru,23; John Jaccob, 22; Ezekiel Gumeret,26; and Sulaimon, Musa,20.
“Similarly, on Sept. 26, 2022, the Rigasa Railway Divisional Police Headquarters arrested five suspects in connection with the vandalism of some window frames at the Gidan Buse substation,” she said.
Longe identified the suspects as Sadi Mohammed,26; Nasiru Yakubu, 35; Yau Ibrahim 26; while two others: Buhari Samlia, 25; and Aliyu Abdulahi, 24 were also arrested for the same crime on Oct.17, 2022.
The police commissioner said that the police officers at the Funtua Railway Police Division, Katsina State.
The commissioner added that her men also raided the hideout of some notorious railway vandals and arrested four suspected vandals who were in possession of 100 railway iron sleepers and 60 cut-to-size triangular iron pieces belonging to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC)
The CP said that on Nov. 4 and 14, “Men of the Kafanchan Railway Police Division and the men of the Nigerian Army School of Artillery intercepted two trucks with Registration numbers: MJB-367XA & DAL-754ZX.
“The trucks were loaded with 45 and 37-long rail irons respectively. Three suspects each: Adamu Lawal,32; Tajudeen Yusuf,27; Sulieman Lawal,19; Abdulkadir Idris 45; Garba Sule,37; and Bilyaminu Ahmadu,37; were arrested in connection with the crime,” she said.
The CP said that the Bauchi Divisional Headquarters upon a credible tip-off also intercepted a J5 bus with registration number XC318BAU.
“The suspects in the bus upon sighting the policemen fled, abandoning the bus loaded with 50 pieces of Railway sleepers concealed with firewood.
“The bus and exhibits have been taken into police custody, while investigations to apprehend the suspects continue.
“Recently, Port Harcourt Railway Police Division also made an arrest of one suspect at the Port Harcourt Railway station.
“The suspect, James Wisdom, 25; was caught stealing some seats of first-class train coaches parked at the railway station,” Longe said.
The commissioner of police said that investigations would be swiftly concluded and the culprits would be duly charged in court.