23rd May, 2011
The Anti-Vandal Unit of Lagos state Environmental and Special Offences Unit, popularly called Task Force, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria has arrested five suspected pipeline vandals in the state.
The unit said the arrest was carried out following a tip-off on the activities of the vandals at Pekeme, a riverine community in Badagry.
Those arrested include 36-year old Chinoze Ezeoke from Ebonyi State, Segun Odufade from Ogun State, Uchenna Amadi, 25, from Imo State, Tony Ikechukwu and Sam Okoro.
The arrested men claimed that they were drivers, who were chartered by the main vandals now at large, to convey the product for them to Owode-Apa, a border community in Badagry.
Chinoze Ezeoke, one of the arrested persons said: â€œwe were at Mile 2 when one man called A.Y. came to tell us that he has some load to carry to Owode Apa. When we got to the seaside at Badagry, we saw the sacks and we found out that they contained fuel and we asked him where he got it, he told us that it was at the sea.
“He loaded our vehicles and said we should help him take it to Owode Apa. It was on our way that the task force men stopped us and arrested us.
â€œThough, I know A.Y. as a driver, I never knew that he was into bunkering and this is the first time Iâ€™m working for him.â€
Segun Odufade, another arrested person, also claimed to be driver, and that he was chartered by Omokolo, who was the owner of the fuel.
He said though Omokolo was with him when they were stopped by the Task Force team, he took to his heels to avoid arrest.
Mr. Dele Laoye, Head of the Anti-Vandal team, who spoke on behalf of the task force chairman, Supol. Bayo Sulaimon, said the arrest of the suspected vandals was made possible following a tip off from some of its informants, who have been detailed to the area.
Olaleye said investigation is still going on to get those behind the heinous act, which he described as saboteurs. He said those arrested shall be charged to court at the end of the investigation. He said the fuel stocked in sacks recovered from the suspected vandals was over 20,000 litres.
Olaleye warned those engaged in acts of vandalism to desist from such as his team would no longer treat such act with levity.
The suspects were arrested with three vehicles, a Volkswagen Golf car marked BR 842 AGL and two Volkswagen LT buses with registration number XT 226 GGE and LT 689 FKJ, in which the fuel was loaded.