By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—Two suspected pipeline vandals, who were arrested weekend in Isolo area of Lagos by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Anti Pipeline Vandalisation Unit, have alleged that soldiers aided them to load their truck in a creek in Ijedodo area of Lagos.
The suspects, Moshood Jubril 40 and Friday Joseph 37 were arrested at the verge of conveying a 33,000 truck laden with the siphoned petroleum product to Ibadan, Oyo state ,where a petrol station owner was waiting to receive the product.
While Joseph, driver of the truck with plate number XA 898 ABC drove ahead, Jubril, an escort, reportedly drove behind in a Toyota Camry car with plate number AAA 208 DU.
Bill of laden gave them away
Explaining how they were arrested, the officer in charge of the Unit, Mr. Valentine Olumese said when information on activities of pipeline vandals reached him, he directed the Lagos State sector commander to go on their trail.
The vandals according to him, were trailed right from Ijedodo to Isolo where Joseph was accosted.
When asked to produce the bill of laden, he (Joseph ) reportedly told the operatives that his colleague, Jubril was with it, unknown to him that Jubril had been arrested .
I get N300,000 for each trip —Joseph
In his confessional statement, Joseph said “We work for one Timothy, owner of the truck. But our major receiver is in Ibadan. He owns a filling station. We bought the product for N85 per litre and intended to sell it at N120 in Ibadan.
“Timothy is the owner of the Toyota Corolla. He bought it as an escort vehicle. He pays me N300,000 at the end of any successful trip while the escort gets N50,000. On this day, we set out with the truck from Ibadan. We stormed Ijedodo, where one Ann, girlfriend to one of the commanders in the creeks, called TK, collected the money for the product on behalf of T.K.
“As we set out in the bush, we saw some soldiers who asked where we were going. We told them we were going to carry out repairs on the truck. They followed us. Out of fear, we told them that we were going to the creeks and they led us there. On reaching the creeks, they (soldiers) brought out a power generating set and a hose.
“While there, 10 other soldiers came from the creeks with boats and filled the truck. They escorted us out of the bush. But unfortunately, we were arrested by the Police on reaching Isolo. I have been doing this for a while,” said the Benue State born suspect.