Seven suspects have been arrested by the Anti-Vandal Unit of the Nigeria Security and civil defence Corps, Lagos State Command, for alleged involvement in oil theft.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects, Paul Toge, Jeremiah Towhome, Joshua Dosa, Saraphim Husa, Segun Ayoola, Alabi Owolabi, Gbenga Azamesu and Sunday Sanni, were arrested on the Badagry waterway while they were returning in boats to Seme with about 250 kegs of 25 litres loaded with petroleum products.
It was gathered that one Ogunlolu Babatunde was apprehended on the Seme Road with a Passat Vento vehicle loaded with 40 kegs of 25 litres loaded with petroleum products.
The suspects were paraded at the NSCDC headquarters in Ikeja on Wednesday along with the exhibits recovered from them.
Dosa, who spoke to our correspondent, said he was engaged by a woman he simply identified as Aunty to convey the products.
He stated, “I am a fisherman. I was by the seaside in Seme when one of our customers, who we call Aunty, told us to help her convey some products and when I asked her what kind of products, she said petroleum products; because the fishing business was not going well, my colleagues and I agreed to convey the products since she was going to pay us N10,000 each.
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“When we asked where we were going to meet, she said she would send a telephone number to us when we moved and when we called the number, the owner said we should call him when we get to Ikare and he directed us to where the products were by the waterside, but we were arrested around the Badagry area on our way to Seme.
Also paraded were seven other suspects – Musiliu Salaru, Oke Samuel, Hunga Augustine, Ojo Mekonu, Alawe Sibeko, Agosu Anthony and David Peter – who were arrested by the nigerian Navy with 80 drums of 250 litres of petroleum products, 100 empty drums, two outboard engines and one pumping machine.
They were subsequently handed over to the NSCDC.
Augustine told our correspondent through an interpreter that an unidentified man contracted their boss in Benin Republic to help him convey petroleum products from Nigeria to their country.
He said, “We are from the Republic of Benin. Someone contracted our boss to convey the products and we came to Nigeria for that purpose. We were on our way when we were arrested by the nigerian Navy in Badagry. Our boss didn’t tell us what we were to convey; he only told us that we should go and convey some products from Nigeria.”
The NSCDC Commandant in the state, Cyprian Otoibhi, who noted that the suspects would be prosecuted at the end of investigation, added that the corps would continue its fight against pipeline vandals and would ensure that their activities were eradicated.
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