Mr. Ayinla Olowo, the Abia commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Friday said the command secured 13 convictions out of the 23 cases prosecuted in 2021.
Olowo said this during a meeting organised for officers and men of the corps at the state command’s headquarters in Umuahia.
He said that 100 suspects were arrested during the period for different offences, bordering on vandalism of petroleum products pipelines and critical public infrastructures.
The infrastructure included railway slippers, power installations and telecomunication facilities.
Other offences, he said, included illegal dealings in petroleum products, child trafficking and child labour, gender-based violence and other related offences.
Beside the convictions, Olowo said the court ordered that the 10 impounded trucks and cars, used in the illegal petroleum products business, be forfeited to the Federal Government.
He further said that the Peace and Conflict Resolutions Unit of the command resolved 41 cases through the alternative dispute resolution strategy of the corps.
According to him, the command’s Anti-Fraud Unit also made several arrests.
He attributed the command’s feat in 2021 to the commitment of the operatives.
He also gave credit to the natives, saying, “Our strategy of engaging the locals to boost the command’s intelligence-gathering network paid off.”
The state commandant listed other achievements by the command to include the rescue of a four-year-old kidnap victim, known as Wisdom, at Ubakala, near Umuahia in October 2021.
He recalled that Wisdom was rescued at a time his 21-year-old assailant, Goodluck Joseph, who allegedly specialised in child trafficking, was negotiating with prospective buyers.
Olowo said that the command also succeeded in uncovering four illegal modular refineries situated in the oil-bearing Ukwa West Local Government Area.
He also said that the command busted a kinapping syndicate that was terrorising parts of the state.
Olowo assured the command’s personnel that the weekly training programme, which he introduced on assumption of office about six months ago, would be sustained.
He advised the operatives to avail themselves of existing opportunities in and outside the corps to acquire more knowledge and continually develop themselves.
Olowo, who disbursed funds to some members of the command’s welfare scheme at the meeting, admonished other personnel to identify with the scheme in their overall interest.
He expressed delight that the command was enjoying robust relationship and collaboration with other sister-security agencies in the state.
The state commandant said the meeting was convened to formally usher in the New Year and reappraise the command’s performance in 2021 and deliberate on the way forward.
He assured Abia residents that the command would not rest on its oars in the effort to deliver on its core mandate and provision of adequate security of life.
He implored the people to assist the command with useful and timely security information to enable it to serve the state better.
Highlights of the meeting included the presentation of four different awards, including the “2021 Best Performing NSCDC State Commandant” by the Council of Security and Forensic Studies, Nigeria and a Certificate of Honour by Progressive Abia Youths, to the commandant.
Olowo said he dedicated the awards to operatives of the command and Commandant-General of the corps, Mr Ahmed Audi, who he described as “my highly revered mentor”.
Senior officers of the command, including Area 1 Commandant, Aba, DC Leonard Uba, described the awards to the commandant as well deserved.
They spoke glowingly about him for his “excepcional leadership qualities” and robust relationship with his liuetenants and entire operatives in the command.