The Bayelsa State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it has arrested the suspected mastermind responsible for blowing up a Nigeria Agip Oil Company pipeline in May.
Bayelsa State NSCDC Commandant Desmond Agu said on Thursday in Yenagoa, the state capital, that the feat was achieved by the NSCDC’s anti-vandal team deployed to the Bayelsa creeks.
Mr. Agu recalled that the suspect and his gang members attacked the Agip pipeline in Lagosgbene, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in Bayelsa State on May 30, 2017.
Mr. Agu spoke after parading the suspect at the headquarters of the command in Yenagoa.
“The vandals fled the scene shortly after disrupting the pipeline. But our anti-vandal team was on their trail, combing the creeks and waterways for the fleeing suspects,” he told reporters. “Our search paid off. With information gathered from members of the public, we located the hideout of the mastermind of this act.
“The ringleader, Suoyo Dickson, aka Hustler, was arrested on June 16, 2017 in Agbigiba community in Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa.
“The suspect has voluntarily confessed to the crime and he is helping the corps in the course of further investigations,” Mr. Agu said.
Mr. Agu further said that some of the suspect’s gang members had been apprehended by a joint task force earlier this month while others were currently on the run.
He disclosed that suspects arrested earlier were still in the custody of one of the corps’ sister security agencies, adding that efforts were being intensified to apprehend the remaining gang members.
The commandant reiterated the corps' commitment to fulfilling its duties in line with its mandate and the template of the Commandant General of the NSCDC.
Mr. Agu assured that the NSCDC was ever determined and ready to secure public assets, including pipelines and other oil installations in the state.
He warned criminals to steer clear of national assets, especially oil installations, saying that people were now aware that vandalism is an old-fashioned, criminal and irresponsible method of agitation.
Mr. Agu said that the NSCDC was also taking the prosecution of suspects seriously, noting that the corps has secured over 20 convictions so far in 2017.
“We have prosecuted many suspects, and we have 16 suspects that were given life imprisonment.
“More than seven suspects were given jail terms ranging from three to ten years in prison. Those convictions are a warning to those criminals who are still in the business of illegalities,” Mr. Agu said.