By EVELYN USMAN
LAGOS — THIRTY suspected pipeline vandals, among them, two pastors and two teenagers were, weekend, arrested by officials of the Ogun State command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Isheri Olofin area of the state.
The suspects, according to the Commandant, Mr Akinwande Aboluwoye, were arrested after a shoot-out.
Recovered from the suspects, according to Aboluwoye, were canoes and 400 50-litre jerricans filled with siphoned petroleum product.
Parading the suspects, among whom were six women, the commandant explained that the feat was achieved following a tip off.
He said: “Immediately they sighted us, they opened fire, thereby leading to a gun battle. But when it became apparent that the heat was too much for them, they abandoned the products and jumped into the river and escaped. However, we were able to arrest their accomplices who reside in the area. We set the recovered canoes ablaze while surveillance has been intensified in that area.”.
However, when the teenagers, Michael Oyedotun(13) and Azeez Ajani(12) were quizzed, they denied their involvment, saying they are apprentices in a tailoring workshop in the area.
While Oyedotun claimed he was arrested while taking his bath at the Ogun River, Azeez admitted seeing jerricans around the area any time he wakes up.
On his part, one of the pastors who identified himself as Nikuleyi Adesola, claimed he was arrested in the company of two female members of his church.
According to him, “I live in the church. I was with two of my members when NSCDC officials ordered us to come out. I do not know anything about the recovered jerricans or activities of vandals.”
Meanwhile, the commandant has said the suspects would be charged to court soon.