Over 200 Manhole Thieves, Vandals Arrested In Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja command of the Nigeria Police Force has revealed that it recently arrested no fewer than two hundred manhole thieves and vandals.

The CP, who spoke when he hosted the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 7, Adebowale Williams, during an operational visit to the command, explained that the scavengers who have been hiding under the trade to terrorize residents were nabbed within the last two months.

According to him, officers of the command also arrested three suspects in connection with the murder of a Bolt Driver, Obasi Okeke, in Abuja following the discovery of the victim, lying in the pool of his blood with a slit throat at Ngugu Close Area 11, Garki Abuja.

CP Garba said “In the last two months, the Command has clamped down on activities of the scavengers other otherwise known as ‘Babanbolas’ whose habit is to destroy the critical infrastructures in the FCT.

Their activities have become a source of concern and threat to the residents of the FCT. They have been involved in the theft and destruction of critical infrastructures in the FCT. In the last two months, 212 scavengers have been arrested and arraigned in Court.”

He expressed concern that those arrested were caught red-handed destroying the critical assets in the FCT.

On the killers of the bolt driver, Garba said a discreet investigation by the police to suspects in the perpetrators of the dastardly act led to the arrest of the three suspects.

In the course of the investigation, the police discovered that the deceased was a bolt driver who was called by one of the suspects to convey them to the Guzape Area of Abuja.

“On the way to Guzape, the suspects asked the bolt driver to take them to a place to buy Indian hemp. When they returned to their take-off point, they discovered they had no money to pay for their trip,” Garba said.

The CP added: “They then showed the deceased a fake debit alert on one of their phones claiming they had transferred the money, but the deceased insisted that he had not received any alert.

“In the ensuing argument, one of the suspects brought out a knife, slit the deceased throat, and fled from the scene”.

While confirming that the three suspects had confessed to committing the crime and that they would be charged to court upon completion of the investigation, CP Garba said the command on July 18 arrested three suspects over kidnapping in the Jikowyi area of the FCT.

He said the suspects were arrested following actionable intelligence and with the support of a patriotic individual.

In his remarks, AIG Adebowale Williams said the current security challenges in the country were a bit difficult to end because non-state actors like bandits, insurgents, kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminals were carrying out “guerrilla warfare”.

Williams however warned that no matter how hard they try to perpetuate criminalities in the nooks and crannies of the country and continue the non-conventional warfare against the nation, they will be smoked out a modern day in no distant time.

His words, “The police must pre-crime. However, where crime occurs we must arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.

“The question is how successful are we? Modern-day policing in a democratic setting like ours cannot be without its own share of challenges.

“The current challenges are from the activities of non-state actors, bandits and insurgents, kidnappers and armed robbers.

“Evolution in technology has its own share of consequences.

“The modus operandi of these non-state actors which is mostly non-conventional (Guerrilla warfare) makes it somewhat difficult to end the menace quickly.

“But one thing is certain, criminals have no hiding place, they will all be smoked out and smashed in no distant time”.

He said that there is a need to take advantage of the Police Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU), Crime Database Unit, NPF National Cybercrime Section and the NPF Interpol among others to enhance our proactive policing, saying it is time to improve visibility policing.”

✍️ Bayo Nelson