A man who claimed to be a farmer, Usman Jubril, has been arrested for allegedly vandalising a solar energy system installed in Government College, Ajara, Badagry, Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the drunken suspect was apprehended by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps after he slept off at the scene of the crime.
The 22-year-old indigene of Maiduguri, Borno State, was arrested along with one Emeka Ugonna, who allegedly attempted to steal a car parked by the roadside at NEPA Quarters, Ikeja.
Some items, including a key and a magnet, were allegedly recovered from Ugonna.
Jubril, in an interview with our correspondent on Tuesday, confessed to the crime. He, however, said he acted under the influence of alcohol.
The father of two explained that he had gone to have fun on the premises of the school on September 2, after selling his goods.
He said, “I am a farmer and live in Ipokia, Ogun State. I took cassava and corn to Badagry, but I didn’t make enough sales. I took the goods to Seme, where I sold everything. I came back to Badagry in the evening to have fun.
“I bought three bottles of gin and went with them to the school to watch a football match. I drank everything and took 500ml tramadol. In drunken stupor, I threw a stone at the glass housing the solar system and it broke. I went inside the facility and slept off.
“I smoke Indian hemp, but that was the first time I would take alcohol. It was the drink that affected my faculty. I didn’t even know how I got to their (NSCDC) custody.”
But 20-year-old Ugonna, who hails from Abia State, said he was accosted when he wanted to look at the car mirror to know if a fez cap he used looked good on him.
He said, “On Sunday, August 26, I was walking along Ikeja GRA around 4.30pm, while some people were holding a party by the roadside. As I wanted to check my fez cap in the mirror of the car, a security man at the party called me.
“He accused me of being a car thief. The key they recovered from me is my brother’s apartment key. I live with him at the GRA. I don’t know how to drive. I am a bricklayer.”
The NSCDC Commandant in Lagos State, Tajudeen Balogun, said men of the command had received several complaints about the vandalism of solar energy facilities in some public schools in the state.
The commandant stated that timely intelligence report and cooperation of members of the public in the Badagry area facilitated Jubril’s arrest.
“We will continue to arrest vandals, as well as those that buy stolen government property. The two suspects will be arraigned after investigations.
“The command also recovered 3,000 litres of stolen petrol at Ijora Olopa on Thursday, September 7. The suspects ran away on sighting our anti-vandal team.
“Criminally-minded people are advised to engage themselves in lawful jobs,” Balogun added.