Police arrest seven suspects for telecom antenna theft in Yobe
By Njadvara MUSA, Damaturu
The Yobe State Police Command has arrested seven suspected telecom mast vandals for alleged illegal decommissioning of antennas.
The telecom mast belongs to the Yobe State Television (YTV); located at Dapchi, along the Damaturu-Bayamari road.
Parading the suspects, yesterday (Tuesday), in Damaturu, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Dungus Abdulkarim, disclosed: “On July 28, 2022, at about 11.30 am, detectives from the Dapchi police station arrested and brought the suspects to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).”
He said that the suspects claimed to be hired by AGN Garun Malam Investment to decommission an antenna mast of YTV.
Besides, he added: “With this information, we have commenced our investigation on the arrested persons,” stating that they include Bello Wanti 52, Abdulminini Jibril, 39, Alhaji Sabiu 40, Saidu Mohammed Bulumkutu 54, Jibril Yakubu 40, Musa Abubakar 20 and Habibu Mohammed, 30.
He said that the suspects are currently in the state CID for prosecution in the court of law.
While fielding questions from journalists, he said that the Command has written to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to confirm their level of investigation on the vandalization of the YTV mast.
According to him, the suspects claimed that the mast was sold to them by the NSCDC and therefore, the police have to investigate and get to the bottom of the allegations. However, one of Bello Wanti, a suspect, told journalists that he is a legitimate businessman who is just a victim of his arrest by the police.
According to Wanti, he bought four masts in Yobe State located at Dapchi and Gashua. He noted that his men were not aware; until after dismantling the mast.
He claimed that it was initially procured by the Yobe state government from the defunct Nigeria Telecommunication Limited (NITEL).
Continuing, he added: “We did not know that the Yobe state government had bought the mast until after we had dismantled it.
“But when we got that information, we came and reported ourselves to the police,” stating that nobody arrested them.
He insisted that if the YTV mast was not legally bought, they could have run away from the state.
“We are just victims of circumstance, as they are making us look like thieves,” he maintained.
The Nigeria Security Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) Commander in Yobe, Saidu Aliyu, said he was neither aware of what happened at Dapchi nor had received any correspondence concerning the matter.