The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested persons suspected to be suppliers of fuel to insurgents in parts of Borno and Adamawa states.
The suspects were reportedly caught ferrying jars of fuel on motorcycles to hinterlands believed to be hideouts of insurgents.
The Commandant of the NSCDC in Borno State, Ibrahim Abdullahi, informed journalists at a press conference that the suspects were apprehended at Watsila village in Baza district of Michika local government in Adamawa State.
He said the suspects were nabbed at Tur filling station “after they had filled their jars, and were about to embark on their journey to the point of supply to the insurgents.”
The suspects denied the allegations.
“The NSCDC in Borno have observed an increase in attacks and criminality in the recent times and have surveillance and in the process, we were able to apprehend some suspected criminals including fuel suppliers to Boko Haram insurgents,” Mr Abdullahi said.
He said the suspects include two students, a local businessman and a farmer – all within 19 and 27 years age.
“The suspects were arrested on 12 September 2020 at about 11 am,” he said.
“Our men who they tried to bribe with the sum of N300, 000 recovered 34 units of 25 litres jerricans all loaded with fuel totalling about 880 litres of PMS. The jerricans were concealed inside some sacks and loaded on three motorcycles meant to be transported to Watsila general area of Baza District.”
When interviewed by a PREMIUM TIMES reporter, one of the suspects, Isaac Clement, said he was not selling fuel to the insurgents.
“I was arrested with jerricans of fuel at Tur Filling station in Husara village, but I don’t sell fuel to Boko Haram as claimed by the security.
“We sell our products under a black market arrangement to motorists plying the highway that passes through our village to Mubi, Michka and up to the Cameroon borders.”
He also denied that they had attempted to bribe to the security officials.
Meanwhile, the NSCDC also paraded suspects who allegedly issued fake meal cards believed to have been issued by the World Food Programme to internally displaced persons.
Other suspects paraded include persons linked with theft of mobile phones, fraud, among others.
“In all these cases, the NSCDC, Borno State command had recovered the sum of N91.47 million out of the total of N149.6 million involved in all the cases.”
The suspects would soon be charged to court, after investigations are concluded, he added.