Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Vigilante arrests 3 NITEL cable vandals

The Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) has announced the arrest of three cable vandals in its Lagos Territorial zone.

Public Relations Manager, Lagos Zone at NITEL, Mr. Ig Nwangwu, said that a vigilante team in Lagos Island arrested the three members of a 4-man cable vandalisation gang in the early hours of Thursday, last week.

Those arrested, who were mostly men included; Onyebuchi Anazodo, 21, Steven Aleke, 18, and Monday Ebube, 27, while cutting the high-capacity, optic fibre cable linking Lagos to the rest of the country.

He also said that so far, this is the fourth occasion the same cable would be cut by thieves since this year.

On each of those occasions, Nwangwu said, NITEL sustained losses running into millions of Naira and inconveniences to its customers given the loss of traffic as a result of the disruption of their service and then the cost of repair or replacement of the affected cable.

“We regret this inconvenience and hope to restore service on the cable very soon,” he said.

The external line plant network of NITEL in Lagos Zone, he noted, has a long history of vandalisation and theft.

As said by him, this is perpetrated by persons who cut, cart away and sell the cables on give away price to some receivers who, in turn, re-sell them to jewelers who smelt and forge them into forms of jewellery.

NITEL and the security agencies are on trail of some of the smelting works in different parts of the country in the bid to ascertain their link with the spate of vandalism of particularly telecommunications and power cables all over the country.

The vigilante arrangement is part of the community policing system recently evolved to supplement the regular patrol of NITEL cable routes by the police and other agencies.

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