The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Monday arrested five suspected bridge vandals in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In a statement, by the Director of Public Relations, DCC Olusola Odumosu, it was revealed that most of the suspects are artisans whose activities are domiciled around the crime scene which is located close to the headquarters of Federal Mortgage Bank, Central Business District, Abuja.
According to Odumosu, the arrested suspects are Abdullahi Bello, 18, Suleja LGA, Niger State; Julius David Madaki, 18, Sanga LGA, Kaduna State; Gambo Clement, 18, Sanga LGA, Kaduna State; Sadiq Abdullahi, 24, Billiri LGA, Gombe State and Abdulaziz Aliyu 25, Sanga LGA Kaduna State.
An investigation into the matter has commenced and would be followed by diligent prosecution of the suspects.
Recovered from the suspects are vandalised five inches galvanised pipes (5 mm), angle irons and a hand saw which was used in carrying out the destruction.
The corps is on the trail of other members of the criminal gang who are currently at large.
According to him, members of the criminal syndicate were arrested following credible information and surveillance mounted by the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (DII) Crack Squad from the National Headquarters of the corps with the support of other stakeholders.
“Protection of critical national assets and infrastructure is the core mandate of NSCDC and the corps is determined to deliver alongside other mandates to justify its existence.
“Vandals of bridges are warned to desist from this nefarious act of vandalising galvanised pipes and aluminium used in the construction and reinforcement of bridges or risk arrest and possible jail terms as security is beefed up around those public utilities by the eagle-eyed operatives of the corps.
“Vandalism of bridges constitutes great risks and dangers to the lives of users as they could fall to their untimely deaths unknowingly.
"A bridge could also collapse once it becomes weakened by the destruction of its various parts which makes it structurally deficient at some points.
“The government is investing heavily in infrastructural development in the country and has provided bridges amongst other public utilities to ensure safe mode of passage or movements for citizens of different social and economic classes and also, to enrich the environment.
“Citizens are enjoined to join hands with security agencies in ensuring protection and safety of lives and public infrastructure by giving useful and timely information to the corps or any of the security agencies once anyone or groups of people are sighted vandalising them,” he said.