A member of a suspected three-man gang that specialises in vandalising the Light Up Lagos Project, an initiative that lights up street lights at night, has told the police that he did not take part in the act.
Lucky Udeagwu who was arrested around the Ogudu area by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad said he works at a construction site at Ikorodu.
The police said in a statement Sunday that the suspects allegedly stole a 35 metre long armoured cable of the Light Up Lagos Project in Ogudu area of the state .
“I got to Ogudu Bus Stop something to 3:00 a.m. on Saturday,” said Mr. Udeagwu, 29, whose alleged accomplices are now at large, according to the police.
“I got out early because I was searching for work. I wanted to get to Ikorodu early so that I can get site job. I saw those two boys brought that bag from a nearby bus and as soon as they saw the police, they ran and I followed them.”
On the spanners and screwdrivers found in his bag, Mr. Udeagwu said they were used to service his generator which he had sold about a year ago.
” It is true I was arrested at about 3:11 a.m. because the officer a showed me the clock in his car. I am not one of those boys,” Mr. Udeagwu added.
The police said the suspect was sighted coming out of the bush towards Ogudu Bus Stop by RRS operatives on routine surveillance around 3:00 a.m. carrying a big sack containing the armoured cable.
“Early this Saturday morning, we saw Lucky and two other guys carrying a big sack coming towards Ogudu Bus Stop,” said Bello Kabir, a police Inspector and the leader of the RRS team.
“Because it was a straight road, we could see them from afar. They dropped the bag at the Bus Stop.
“As they sighted RRS vehicle, they took to their heels in different directions but we caught Lucky. We were suspicious that what could make them run when they saw us must be something criminal. We checked the bag and we saw a 35 meter long armoured cable. Beside the bag was a camouflage cap.”
Mr. Kabir said there had been reports of cable theft in some parts of Lagos metropolis, including the area where the suspected vandal was arrested.
”We are under instruction, as RRS operative to monitor cable installations of Light – Up Lagos Project,” Mr. Kabir said.
“On the spot, we searched him (Mr. Udeagwu). We found in his small bag, screw driver, 10 spanner and a T – shirt. The 10 spanner is the size of the bolts covering the street lights in this area.”
It was revealed through further investigations at the RRS headquarters that the supposed employer of Mr. Udeagwu saw him last before the Easter Break.
Nobody could identify the suspect in the three houses he said he lives, according to the police, with one of the houses being an uncompleted building.
While confirming the report, Dolapo Badmus, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, said the state would not tolerate vandalism and sabotage of government’s efforts.
The suspect has been transferred to the State Anti-Robbery Squad office in Lagos.