The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akwa Ibom State Command, has arrested a Power Holding Company of Nigeria service manager and eight others for allegedly engaging in illegal poles planting and cables theft.
The eight men were said to have been nabbed following a tip-off from residents that some vandals were tampering with the PHCN installations at Nung Oku in Ibesikpo/Asutan Local Government Area.
It was learnt that the service manager, Ibesikpo/Asutan LGA’s PHCN office was arrested for alleged complicity in the crime.
The command’s head, Public Relations/Protocol, Mr. Ime White, told PUNCH Metro in Uyo on Monday that following the tip-off, the state commandant of the agency, Mr. Pedro Ideba, quickly mobilised patrol teams to the area.
He explained that the command’s prompt action was also necessitated by the fear that if the vandals were quacks, they could be electrocuted.
White said following the arrest of the suspects, the command impounded the truck they were using, which had PHCN label indicating that the vandals were from the Port Harcourt district.
He noted that investigation, however, revealed that though the vandals posed as PHCN workers, none had ever worked with the parastatal.
He added that NSCDC had impounded feeder cables, insulators, ladder and other working tools recovered from the suspects.
He said, “We discovered a purported contract of transplanting poles being undertaken by one Jenkins International Limited.
“It was the duty of the service manager, PHCN, Ibesikpo/Asutan LGA, to have notified the Uyo District of such jobs, but that did not happen.
“Upon the arrest of the suspects, we discovered that the truck they were using had PHCN label that has to do with metering project of Port Harcourt district and not Akwa Ibom. Although they posed as PHCN workers, we discovered that none of them worked with the company. Feeder cables, insulators, ladders and other working tools, were all impounded here.”