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Soldiers catch their fellow soldiers stealing cables at Dangote Refinery

Preliminary investigation revealed that the two suspects were hired by a civilian contractor.

Nigerian soldiers (image used for illustrative purpose) [DHQ]

The Director, Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Wednesday, said the Nigerian army was deeply concerned over its personnel’s involvement in criminality.

Nwachukwu said that act of criminality, which was prevented by the proactive intervention of vigilant troops and private security operatives on duty at the refinery, was totally unacceptable and highly regrettable.

He said that such act does not represent the ethics and values of the Nigerian army, adding that the two suspects had been identified and currently under custody.

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According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that the two suspects were hired by a civilian contractor simply identified as Mr Smart, who claimed he wanted to recover some armoured cables he had left behind on the refinery’s premises.

"Unknown to the soldiers, the said contractor, sensing trouble as they approached the security post, excused himself from the vehicle and bolted, leaving them behind.

"Further investigations are ongoing to fully ascertain the depth of culpability of the apprehended soldiers.

"Additionally, the stolen cables have been recovered and are in safe custody," he said.

Nwachukwu said the army was working closely with the management of Dangote Refinery to ensure thorough investigation into the unfortunate incident.

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He reassured the public that appropriate disciplinary measures would be meted out to the culprits, adding that no act of criminality would be condoned amongst its personnel.

"The Nigerian army remains steadfast in ensuring that the key values of discipline and integrity are adequately entrenched amongst its personnel.

"We shall also continue to cultivate and promote dedication and a culture of accountability and ethical behaviours within our ranks," he added.

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