In Doma, Nasarawa State, soldiers from the Nigerian Army’s 4 Special Forces Command have disclosed that they were promised N5 million for free passage by alleged railroad track vandals.
When turning over the suspects to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Doma, Nasarawa State, on Friday, Major Joseph Adekunke Afolasade, Acting Deputy Director Army Public Relations 4 Special Forces Command, said his troops declined the offer.
12 suspected vandals were caught by troops in two different operations across the state during the event and turned over to the state headquarters of the NSCDC.
Five of the suspects, according to Major Afolasade, were captured by soldiers on a regular patrol at an abandoned train station in the state’s Keana and Obi local government areas.
The suspects, he claims, were loading the vandalised rail tracks into two trucks when command officers and men apprehended them.
He stated that another group of seven suspects were apprehended on June 18 during a raid at the home of one of the suspected kingpins in Lafia, the state capital.
He did, however, claim that the suspects offered a bribe of N5 million after making a shocking confession that implicated some powerful people in Nasarawa and Plateau states.
The suspects were arrested with a large quantity of rail tracks loaded in two 12-tyre trucks.
In the course of investigation, the troops arrested additional seven suspects on June 18 who had made confessional statements.
They admitted to have played various roles in the theft of the rail tracks and mentioned names of some prominent persons in Nasarawa and Plateau States as being part of the syndicate.
They offered to give our personnel N5m to allow them go with the rail tracks, but our men rejected the money and arrested them.
According to him, the suspects claimed they were duped by their sponsors, who are now on the run.
He added that the suspects had been handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for further investigation and prosecution after Maj. Gen. Owyinka Soyele, Commander of the Special Forces, approved it.